Community groups still thrive in the Hilltowns

To the Editor:
Dennis Sullivan — don’t despair! [“Faithless New World: Two Thousand thirty-five,” The Altamont Enterprise, Aug. 4, 2022] Volunteerism has taken a hit from COVID, but as Monty Python would say, “It’s not dead yet!”

Perhaps the Hilltown communities are an exception, but there is a very active citizen base who are actively supporting community needs. Berne and Knox, for instance, share a volunteer ambulance corps, and each have volunteer fire companies.

Churches support families with nutrition, and newly formed community service groups raise funds to support local food pantries and youth sports and recreation. The Berne-Knox-Westerlo school community includes an active student service club, and the school provides daily meals, and a summer food backpack program.

I know there are others I have missed, but it illustrates my point that neighbors helping neighbors is a vital contribution to our welfare.

I am a Kiwanian, and service to children and their families is our focus — the reason Kiwanis was formed so many years ago. Helderberg, my home club, weathered the pandemic by changing, adapting, doing what was possible, and trying to answer the needs as they developed.

We also supported each other, as even the toughest of us sometimes needed the comfort and that sense of purpose and community that membership provides.

One last point: Kiwanis is a great organization. If you have been thinking about getting more involved, if you have been wondering what organization might be a good fit, please check out Kiwanis. The International and New York District websites have lots of useful information.

And, local clubs are looking for new people to carry us forward. Helderberg Club might be the way for you to contribute. Call or text me.

Gerard “Gerry” Chartier

Helderberg Kiwanis

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