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April 18, 2013
By Staff Sgt. David Carbajal

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - Winston Churchill was once quoted in saying “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.”

Based on this, service members and families have made quite a life by volunteering nearly 140,000 hours of their personal time to on-base organizations during 2012.

Anyone with base access who is interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities with on-base organizations are encouraged to attend the Volunteer Expo from noon to 1 p.m. April 24, 2013, at Tommy B’s Community Activities Center here.

Representatives from nearly 20 on-base organizations will be in attendance to inform potential volunteers about their programs and how volunteers can join the organization.

“This is a great way to learn about the volunteer opportunities on base and find out ways to help,” said Mary Kierstead, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst volunteer coordinator at the Military and Family Support Center.

Some organizations who will attend the Volunteer Expo are Blue Star Families, Military and Family Support Center, Joint Base Librar-e and Resource Commons, Operation Santa Claus, The Attic, International Spouses, Youth Sports, Quilts for Kids, Furry Angels Therapy Dogs and Community Outreach Volunteer Experience.

“Our goal is to connect service members and families to the organizations that can not only help them, but welcome them into their organizations,” said Kierstead, a Grampian, Pa., native. “The Expo will provide the opportunity to explore JB MDL volunteer positions all in one place at one time.”

Service members and families benefit in multiple ways from volunteering, said Kierstead.

“Volunteering provides another avenue to assist others and it enables people to bring new and fresh ideas to an organization,” said Kierstead. “Volunteers also gain enlisted performance report bullets, community service for award packages as well as experience for future jobs and resumes.”

This is the first year the joint base has hosted an expo in this forum, where registered organizations can promote their work and seek potential volunteers in one location.

“We hope the Expo will continue to grow in upcoming years so all on-base organizations can be represented and they can educate who they are and what they do,” said Kierstead.