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Taking the time to help the community

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. -- The Air Force puts high emphasis on Airmen being well-rounded. Being well-rounded is defined by the Air Force as taking part in all aspects of life, including physical fitness, furthering education and volunteering time in the local community.

Recently, I was part of a group of Mighty Ninety Airmen who worked with Habitat for Humanity contractors and other volunteers to construct a section of a house in Cheyenne. In the five hours we volunteered, we were able to watch the transformation of an empty wooden platform to the beginning of a house with exterior walls and roof rafters secured to the frame.

By the end of the day, we were able to look back and see the fruits of our labor. I took comfort in the fact that all our hard work made a sizeable dent in the construction of the house. Once the house is completed, a family will have a place to call their own before the Wyoming winter hits.

The Habitat for Humanity coordinator for the build, Curtis Colbert, expressed his gratitude that so many Airmen came to help. With the volunteers from the base, the group was able to accomplish more than expected, which helped the build get ahead of schedule. Knowing that I made a difference and helped in the build was enough for me to be proud of the work.

Volunteering is difficult to narrow down to a single definition. Each opportunity requires its own attention: some events require a significant amount of time and dedication, while others require just a few hours of work or remaining on-call a few nights.

On-base options can range from helping out with events such as monthly heritage luncheons, to volunteering with the Mighty Ninety Safe Ride designated driver program.

Volunteer activities throughout the local Cheyenne community are also available to those looking to help out. Various events are advertised on base and in the local area, from working at the local animal shelter to mentoring youth in the city.

Many programs are in constant need of volunteers. Two programs I work with are the Special Friends Program and Habitat for Humanity.

The Special Friends program partners mentors and mentees in a big brother or big sister program. The program asks mentors to spend a minimum of three hours of time per week with their mentee and provides special discounts at events in the local area. For more information or to volunteer, call 307-637-6480.

The Habitat for Humanity of Laramie County builds house every year for families. Most of the work is on weekends during the build season. Tools are provided to volunteers and no experience is required. For more information or to volunteer for a shift, call 307-637-8067.

Volunteering is a personal choice that has many benefits. When I volunteer, I feel a sense of purpose, something that drives me to continue helping out wherever I can. I highly recommend volunteering in the local community. Whether you only have a few hours to spend each month or would like to devote a large portion of time, there are opportunities available for everyone.