A few years ago, I heard a new word that perfectly summed up some situations: Voluntold. As in, “We didn’t have anyone to help me with the kids’ classroom Valentine’s Day party, so I voluntold someone and now I don’t have to bake all these heart-shaped cookies myself.” I love it!
The thing is, in Mt. Lebanon, we usually don’t need to voluntell anyone. At any given time here, thousands of residents are helping, purely because they want to. They may be kindergarten soccer coaches or board members at their houses of worship. They may pack backpacks for children in need or they may walk dogs at area shelters. When people ask me about Mt. Lebanon, I always mention how ready our residents are to help.
As you read this, we have 17 volunteer boards and authorities affiliated with municipal government. Some of them are required by law, such as our zoning hearing board. When property owners want an exception to our zoning rules, this board hears their requests and issues judgement. Other boards are not required, but wanted, such as the historic preservation board, which helps educate residents on ways to keep our unique historic built environment.
Having many boards means we need more than 110 people to keep those boards going. Most of the boards have monthly meetings and plan lots of events and it can be tough to find people who have that much time to invest. That’s just one of the reasons why the municipality has streamlined its boards and authorities. All the statutory boards and authorities will remain. But others have been sunsetted. Beginning April 1, the municipality will have five new boards, representing the five key areas addressed by our recent Comprehensive Plan. Read more about this realignment on page 11. This is your golden opportunity to consider applying to one of these boards, to lend your time and talent to the betterment of all of us. Get more information at: mtlebanon.org/boards.
While you’re at it, take a look at the volunteers you know and nominate an exemplary one for the Community Service Award. This award, presented by the community relations board, will call out the best of the best of us … someone who jumps in to help even before being asked. Find the criteria and nomination form online.
The CRB committee that chooses the award always has a difficult time because of the quality of volunteerism. Thank you to all Mt. Lebanon volunteers. You make us all shine.