Well, hello again. Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), my favorite poet, was an American essayist and philosopher. He wrote extensively to awaken readers in the feeling of their self-worth.
Many readers of his works have found the courage to simply be themselves. He often said, “To own many things or to be very popular does not matter, but the one thing of value in the world is the active soul, thinking and acting on his own instincts as a triumph of his principles.”
“Optimism” is our positive word this week, of which he wrote: “Optimism, cheerfulness and a good temper; the more it is spent, the more of it remains.”
Too often, when in conversation with our volunteer friends, we start out with a preemptive apology: “Sorry for the delay,” “Sorry I forgot to return your call.” Author Susan Heitler, Ph.D., who wrote “Prescriptions Without a Pill,” wrote that “sorry” is triggered by a fear of criticism. She suggests that it is a person’s negativity which only increases anxiety and a better response would be to start with confidence-boosting language like, “Thank you for thinking of me.”
Affirmative, optimistic language helps to affirm yourself along the volunteer path. When we are not focusing on our perceived faults, we will become less apologetic with the word “sorry” and we will be able to communicate more positively, honestly and, especially, openly.
Away with any downcast feelings of inadequacies. Bring on optimism and look around for positivity. There are unexpected avenues of fulfilling opportunities awaiting us.
Take Stock in Children is seeking volunteers to serve as mentors for students in middle and high school once a week as they prepare for college. Call Pat Lancaster, coordinator of Student Services, at 352-344-0855.
Twice Blessed Thrift Store, a community outreach project of Crystal River United Methodist Church, is seeking volunteers so it can extend its hours. Call Kent Fletcher at 352-651-5555. The store is on the campus of the church at 5015 N. Citrus Ave.
Nature Coast Ministries Free Dental Clinic is looking for dental professionals to donate a morning or afternoon one day a month. Non-professionals are needed to interview patients and answer phones. Additional volunteers are needed to help in the thrift shop in the Homosassa Plaza which funds the clinic. Bonnie McMullin is available to provide a presentation to clubs, groups and churches. Call her at 352-464-4348.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is seeking volunteers for its safe boating projects on land and on water. Contact Melissa at melissafrank2021@gmail.
Citrus Springs Memorial Library is looking for volunteers for a three-hour shift once a week between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays. Call 352-489-2313.
Take Stock in Children invites middle and high school students who have plans to attend college or a vocational school to enroll and join their Student Scholars Team Scholarship Program. Call 352-344-0855.
The Inverness Lions Club offers glasses and vision care to any veteran who cannot afford it. Call 352-560-8741.
The “Two Good Soles Shoes and Socks Drive” is from Aug. 1 through Sept. 9, sponsored by the Nature Coast Volunteer Center. Donation boxes are available at any of the county libraries, community centers, the Tax Collector’s offices and the Citrus County Resource Center. Call 352-527-5959.
There will be a Purple Heart breakfast at 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, sponsored by the West Citrus Elks Lodge 2693 at 7890 W. Grover Cleveland Blvd., Homosassa. Call Curt at 352-382-3847.
The City of Inverness will sponsor a “Summer Sizzlin’ on the Square” event, featuring the music of the Caribbean Chillers Band, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, on the Courthouse Square in Inverness.
The Citrus County Community Choir will present its “Summer Showcase,” featuring Disney favorites, on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Faith Lutheran Church at 935 S. Crystal Glen Drive in Lecanto; and Sunday, Aug. 7, at First Presbyterian Church at 306 Washington Ave. in Inverness. Both concerts begin at 3 p.m. and will benefit the choir’s scholarship program.
The “Stuff the Bus School Supply Drive” will take place through Aug. 10, sponsored by the Citrus County School Board and the Citrus County Education Foundation. Collection bins are located in all Citrus County public libraries. Visit tinyurlcom/425526ms.
The Knights of Columbus blood drive is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Our Lady of Grace Parish Hall at 2389 W. Norvell Bryant Highway, Lecanto.
The Citrus County Craft Council will sponsor the Harvest Moon Arts and Crafts Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Florida National Guard Armory at 8551 W. Venable St., Crystal River. See www.citruscountycraft.com.
There will be an Atlantic City Boys Tribute on Friday, Aug. 26, at the Citrus Springs Community Center. The Citrus Springs Civic Association will provide snacks and refreshments. Call 352-527-7540.
Until next week, keep safe and stay optimistic.
Ruth Levins participates in a variety of projects around the community. Let her know about your group’s upcoming activities by writing to P.O. Box 803, Crystal River, FL 34423.