Mayor Rich Walker
Mayor Rich Walker

A Message from Mayor Rich Walker

This is usually the time of year when we think most about brilliant decorations, festive get-togethers with families and friends, delicious meals, and the hustle and bustle of shopping for presents.  As we mature, we realize, of course, the gift of giving is much more satisfying than receiving a gift.  The holiday season is filled with opportunities to give.  Whether the request is a donation of money, food, gifts, or other goods, it always gratifies and humbles the heart to help others.

There are other incredible opportunities throughout the holiday season that I would like to mention—volunteer opportunities.  Whether you participate through your children’s school, your place of worship, a community organization, or even an online group, there is little that will truly fill your soul more than volunteering your time to help an individual, family, group, or cause.

I am not suggesting not to donate.  My wife and I make it a point to ensure our children know that making donations to others should be a regular part of community involvement.  There are many causes that rely heavily on donations to ensure people in need can receive the help we all want for them.

Volunteerism is an entirely different level of donation. My experience has been, volunteering benefits the volunteer as much as the recipient.  Every time I volunteer, I am both humbled and honored to serve others. Some of the best moments we have had as a family are those that have been spent volunteering together.  In fact, our youngest child Hayes has grown up with the notion that Daddy and Momma are indeed Santa’s helpers.

And when we volunteer with other members of our community, it unifies and bonds us.  If ever there was a time when growing closer with other members of our community was important, I believe it is now.  Social media has barriers, lacks emotion, and has so many detractors.  Working with others—even people we do not know—on a common cause not only helps people in need, it helps us put aside any differences we might have.  It introduces people into our lives who we may not have otherwise connected with. This itself is a true gift.

Volunteering is the social medicine we all need to take on a regular basis to nurture our soul and calibrate our station in life.  The holiday season, more than any other time, affords a multitude of opportunities to give of yourself to help your fellow neighbor.

If you would like to share your thoughts about volunteering or perhaps share a volunteer experience, I would love to hear from you.  I can be reached via e-mail at rwalker@cityofparkland.org or via cell phone at (973) 390-1453.  Of course, I am frequently available monthly at Parkland businesses and love to talk with residents there.  I encourage you to visit the City’s website cityofparkland.org and click on the social media icon that you prefer to ensure you stay informed on events and helpful information.

Mayor Rich Walker
City of Parkland, Florida

The Parkland City Commission is Mayor Rich Walker, Vice Mayor Bob Mayersohn, Commissioners Simeon Brier, Ken Cutler, and Jordan Isrow.

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