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When you meet someone on the street, in the marketplace or at a social gathering in Branford, the chances are good that you are looking at a Branford volunteer. From the Farm River to Stony Creek, Branford volunteers are busy sharing time, energy and ideas, making life better for others, and for themselves. They are living examples of the words of William James: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

   April is National Volunteer Month. With today’s edition we begin a series of articles to highlight the work of Branford volunteers and to explore the many volunteer opportunities in town.

   Figures released by Independent Sector Research estimate that volunteer work in Connecticut has a value of more than $23.00 an hour. In addition, volunteer work provides immeasurable benefits to the community. In Branford we have more than thirty agencies, commissions and committees that are staffed by more than 250 dedicated volunteers.  We have numerous non-profit agencies that are staffed or aided by volunteers. These efforts help to make our town a caring and dynamic community.

   Our Selectmen, Anthony “Unk” DaRos, Fran Walsh and John Opie are dedicated to the idea of honoring Branford volunteers. The selectmen have invited representatives of all town commissions and committees to attend regular Selectmen’s meetings to discuss their goals and projects. Selectmen’s meetings are held every other week and are broadcast on BCTV Channel 20 on Tuesday evenings, repeating each hour. The series has started with visits from Ainsley Highman of Branford’s Parks and Open Space Committee and Mary Grande, of the Board of Recreation. Tune in to find out how these enthusiastic volunteers support the work of our town’s government.

   A small committee from the Non-profit Council of Branford’s Chamber of Commerce has been meeting regularly to discuss ways to celebrate the Branford volunteers who work in the non-profit sector. We will be canvassing Branford agencies to determine the number of volunteers in town, and the type of work that they do.Contact information will be provided for those who want to jump on the volunteer bandwagon. Thank you, Branford volunteers!



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