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Gwinnett County: ‘Tis Always the Season to Give Back

Sharing our good fortune with others is an important part of what defines us as Americans.

Nicole L. Hendrickson, Chairwoman, Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners

Toward the end of the year, we give thanks for the many blessings we have received in our lives. And amid the holiday rush, many of us make it a point to give our time, talent, or treasure to add a blessing to someone else’s life.

Gwinnett residents often speak of our enviable quality of life, no matter which end of the economic spectrum they occupy. Giving back is part of our culture… helping others is our standard.

One example is the tremendous response from volunteers who freely donate their time for all sorts of county government-sponsored initiatives. With our Volunteer Gwinnett program, we have made it easy to find a one-time project or a longer-term commitment and sign up as an individual, family, or with a group of friends or neighbors.

Opportunities now extend beyond those solely associated with government programs and services to include qualified community organizations. The work done by these organizations and their volunteers answers many needs in our community.

President John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Rather, ask what you can do for your country.” He was talking about not taking life in America for granted. He was asking people to give back.

While some people say it’s not the government’s job to ensure everyone has basic social and financial safety nets in place, governments exist to promote the common good by ensuring public safety and a reasonably level playing field that gives everyone a shot at success. Unfortunately, there can never be enough public money to meet every need, and that’s why we depend on the goodwill of good citizens to step in as volunteers.

You can join the 42,000 committed volunteers who gave 721,000 hours of service last year. Visit to find a wide variety of opportunities ranging from delivering meals to senior citizens to distributing food to families in need and from collecting cans of paint at a recycling event to walking dogs at the animal shelter.

I believe that everyone can afford to share at least a little of the bounty of their lives and that giving back should be a year-round exercise. I encourage you to find something that ignites your passion for giving back now and in the coming year.