Why Do We Do It?
I have shared with you that sometimes it’s tough owning your own business. There’s always something to be worried about – money, staffing, bettering my business. This led me to ponder why it is that I do what I do. After all, I could be working for someone else, collecting a weekly paycheck, planning my annual vacation and not worrying about anything more than my job. Instead I chose to start a business, which is rarely an easy path.
But truth be told, I know that no one else could do what we do here at the CV Weekly. We know – and love – this community and are eager to share its stories. We also know how fortunate we are to live and work here. And there’s no denying the satisfaction of seeing your hard work welcomed into the homes and businesses of your neighbors.
I was curious as to what motivated others to start their own business so I asked my chiropractor Dr. Dale Ellwein of Standing Tall Chiropractic. He said that after working for others, he thought that he could take the best from those experiences and create a healing business that was even better. That, coupled with a desire to be his own boss and directing his own future, was why he opened his business.
I was also curious as to why people serve the community when there is no financial reward. Let’s face it – we have a virtual army of volunteers who work behind the scenes to make Crescenta Valley the awesome place it is to work and live. To calculate the amount of money it would cost to hire the people who donate their time … well, it’s immeasurable.
Steve Pierce is the immediate past president of the CV Chamber of Commerce, former president of the CV Town Council, is or was on just about every volunteer committee or board that was ever established and is in charge of keeping the Vietnam War Memorial clean and beautiful. I asked him why he does it.
He said feeling that it makes a difference is what motivates him and he hopes that it spurs people to get involved. He also mentioned that, at this stage in his life (just past 70), being active keeps him healthy. He hopes that his actions will change the outlook of others.
Mary O’Keefe, who works for this paper (and does so much more) and was just named the Woman of the Year by the CV Chamber, is also known for her guerrilla volunteerism; there are few things that she won’t volunteer for. She said that being a good citizen is what motivates her. She said that she “loves this country so this is how I serve my country.”
Chris Waldheim is another person who can be found behind the scenes at many events. He said that he volunteers “because every organization relies on good people to be successful and sustainable. These amazing organizations represent all residents and form the fabric that makes our community so special.”
Young people are not immune to the importance of volunteering. Jessy Shelton, 15, is part of the Prom Plus Club volunteer force. She said that she “simply loves doing it.” For her, it’s fun to be dancing, cleaning tables or scaring people in the Haunted Jail. She also said that she’s had the “honor to meet some of the most interesting and most amazing people in this community.”
Her big brother Charly shares her enthusiasm. “I volunteer because I was raised to believe that’s just what you do. If someone needs help, you help them. End of line. And with my family, we always find someone who needs help.”
He did add, though, that typically his family can be found at a volunteer event and there’s usually food. “I don’t want to make food for myself. There is usually food there, wherever we volunteer, so it is very rewarding. To my tummy.”