Volunteers put in thousands and thousands of hours every day to make things like libraries and parks and events possible. Some work at a specific place on a regular schedule, some are on call as needed, and some only work an event now and then, but without them, the world would be a messier, less organized, less interesting, less fun place. Volunteers have taught my kids and I many things, from specific details about a place we are visiting to general concepts of competence like how to ask a question and have a conversation with a person you have never met. Volunteers have done my kids special favors to reward their interest, giving them special looks into backrooms and handing them special trinkets and samples to take home. We volunteer ourselves at an historic farm museum and at the Boy Scout Eagle project work days and at an occasional prairie restoration work day or seed gathering. If you find some time in your busy schedule to volunteer somewhere, you will get back out of it far more than you put in. But it is hard work that takes some dedication and commitment, so next time you see a volunteer somewhere, make it a point to give them an extra thanks!