Volunteers Helping the City
February 13, 2009
The San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is looking to volunteers to help the city through these difficult times according to Helen Gao, a Union-Tribune Staff Writer.
Sanders is spreading that message as the city faces budget shortfalls that could exceed $100 million in coming years. In his State of the City address last month, he announced a goal to double the ranks of volunteers to offset cutbacks in city services.
There are thousands giving their time or money in San Diego but there are many challenges faced when trying to figure out where volunteers can serve when some jobs require special skills or training. The result of the hard work that goes into organizing the volunteer programs and the is very rewarding to the community.
- Friends of theraised more than $254,000 in fiscal year 2007-08 to benefit the system. The money has paid for books, rugs for children’s reading areas and supplies for craft workshops.
- The Police Department also depends heavily on free labor to supplement its operations. Volunteers take minor-crime reports over the phone, direct traffic at accident scenes and comfort victims.
- The department’s Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol, highlighted by the mayor in his State of the City speech, averages 450 to 500 members. Retirees in uniforms make welfare checks on shut-ins, patrol around schools and issue citations to those who park illegally in disabled stalls, among other duties.
Volunteers who give their time or money provide the much needed support to our libraries, parks, police and. We need to continue doing our part for our communities especially through these tough times.