Among our favorite resolutions each new year is volunteering our time to help people. Although this is a very altruistic goal and, frankly, needed, it is so hard for busy young families to find the time to commit.

In our world today, it is necessary for both parents to work and our student activities and social engagements leave us scrambling to do the minimum.

The goal of showing our children how to "give back" and practice good citizenship has taken a back seat in our rush to put 48 hours of obligations into 24 hours a day.

It would be nice if businesses could show their dedication to their community by allowing employees to take a few hours off each month to volunteer. A commitment to unloading the truck (once a month) at the food shelf or to shop with clients would be uplifting to the employees as well as filling a need.

Maybe once a year your staff can commit to helping the Pine River-Backus Family Center by volunteering at the Jaycees Ice Fishing Extravaganza on our behalf. There are always "one-time" needs to help with programs like Christmas for Kids.

Businesses can find space on their property to plant a garden row for the food shelf, which would be a stress reliever for staff to maintain and show the business's commitment to the community.

Volunteering not only helps the charity you commit to but also fulfills a personal need to make a difference in the world we live in. Happier employees equates to happier workers. Committing together as a couple or a family can build a special bond to each other as well as to the community.

The Pine River-Backus Family Center can help you explore the many opportunities there are to volunteer. Call 218-587-4292 with your questions.