By Judy Garrison

Are we catching you in the midst of early January New Year’s Resolution making? Let’s guess: You want to resolve to do something good for others or for your community in general. You want to get out more and make more friends. Yes, we have the resolution solution for you only a phone call or email away: Join one of our community groups where folks have a social time while providing Andes with services, enriching activities, information, funding. A two for one for you. And immeasurable benefit for Andes.

In no specific order:

The Andes Public Library Saturday hours (10 am to noon) are staffed solely by volunteers. Call Phyllis Galowitz at any time of the year to sign up for the simple training and hours (676-3920). Or stop in during library hours and ask Barbara Mellon if there is a small job you could help with, like shelving books.

Andes Community Day each August doesn’t happen by magic. Many organizations get involved, but the overall planning is handled by two people, Sally O’Neill and Maria Ditchek – two people who would very much like to enlarge their circle. March is not too early to get involved with vendor solicitation. Parade organization is another job that they call on. Contact Maria (676-3437) or Sally at the Hotel (676-4408) to find out more.

The Andes Society for History and Culture (ASHC) gives tours of the Hunting Tavern Museum on Saturdays from Memorial Day through Columbus Day weekends, from 10-3. Contact Jim Andrews (victorian@catskill.net) to inquire about training and signing up. Gloria Carlson (676-4765) is in charge of recruiting volunteers for the ASHC sponsored Thrift Shop in the old Fire Hall. Working the counter one day a week or month is a fun way to get to know people while offering your support to the upkeep and restoration of the 3 buildings under the stewardship of the ASHC.

The Andes Food Bank offers help to families and has a program of snack packs for our Andes schoolchildren. Contact Pastor Garrett Schindler at (607-832-4340) to sign up for a volunteer job. (See The Savory Table article in this issue.)

We all know the tremendous work done by the Andes Volunteer Fire Department, and its EMTs. While extensive training is needed for these positions, the competences gained will benefit you in all phases of your life while you offer life-saving services to others. Contact Fire Chief Dale Tait (676-4588) to inquire about joining the fire department, or Squad Captain Laurie Andrews (676-3537) about the steps toward certification for joining the Emergency Squad. They may have a need for drivers as well. And the Fire Department Auxiliary is another way you can help.

Every month volunteers of the Andes Gazette (usually the editorial staff members who are available) fold, label and stamp the hot-off-the-press issues. If you would like to be on the email list to be notified when the printed copies have been delivered to the library (no obligation to attend) email Judy Garrison (garrison@catskill.net).

Jeff Ditchek initiated the Point to Opportunities Program, for people in the community who speak to ACS high school students about their occupation/profession, how they attained it, what it entails, why they are glad they chose it. Contact him if you would like to learn more (jiditchek@gmail.com).

If you would like to help out at the Andes Central School, you can volunteer with the CROP program, with the elementary basketball program this winter, or perhaps by offering your expertise during the planning and production of a school play, or getting on their list of candidates as a mentor or as a participant in a panel of judges for the senior project. Call Jan Stevens (676-3166) or email her (jstevens@andescentralschool.org).

Members of the Town of Andes Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals are appointed to these unpaid positions. However, it can’t hurt to express your potential interest in such a post. Call our Town Clerk, Kimberly Tosi, (676-4791) to have her put your name on a list.

It almost goes without saying how many dinners, bazaars, concerts, study groups are put on by volunteers at our 3 churches. Even if you are not a “member” of one of the churches, it is likely they could use your help in planning or implementing one of their community events.

We have undoubtedly left out some of the organizations providing services to our community. If yours is one, and you would like the Gazette to put the word out, please send us an email so that we can include it in a future issue.~