My husband was killed in action while deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. Shortly after, I was approached by the Saginaw County Veterans Memorial Plaza, which was in search of a treasurer. The Plaza is a beautiful place where you can go to honor and remember those who have passed away or who have served. I felt like it was the right organization to join and be a part of, as I had just lost someone very important to me.
Fourteen years later, I am on my fourth four-year term as treasurer, attending monthly meetings and continuing to support the organization. As a board member, I help plan free public ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. When we aren’t putting on ceremonies, we maintain the grounds and the bricks people can buy for their loved ones.
The Plaza relies on its volunteers and donations from the Saginaw area and will put on fundraisers like 5k races to help provide adequate funding. We also hold appreciation lunches around Flag Day for the companies and individuals who have donated their services and time to help take care of the Plaza.
Through giving my time, I have realized that the more people you talk to, the more you understand that everyone has a story. Sometimes they might even have one that is similar to yours. Finding an organization that speaks to you and developing more of a connection by giving your time is key. It is very rewarding, and I think it is our duty to volunteer where we can.
I give back because I want to support those who have lost a loved one fighting for our country.