As a lifelong resident of Rutland, I’ve long appreciated the way this community works together when the chips are down, or when a challenge confronts us as a community. It’s one of the reasons I love this time of year, when the greater Rutland area demonstrates its amazing sense of camaraderie at the Gift-of-Life Marathon.
For the past 12 years, I’ve donated blood, volunteered to help and witnessed the selflessness of the people of our community. I’ve watched grandmothers, moms with their first-time donor teenaged son or daughter donate alongside police officers, nurses, construction workers, linemen, teachers, lawyers, doctors, students and firefighters.
I’ve seen things that moved me each time, including couples on their first date last year at Castleton University, school aged students wanting to be a part of something bigger by volunteering their time, and every high school within a 30 mile radius volunteering together to make the event a huge success. The drive has given me memories that I’ll cherish forever, while giving blood recipients not only memories, but the opportunity to create new memories thanks to the gift of life they received from an anonymous donor.
As the 2015 GOLM – 12 Days of Giving approaches, I’ve already made my appointment to donate and found several opportunities to volunteer. It’s my way of welcoming the holiday season, giving back to my community and giving a gift to pay forward.
Bonnie O’Rourke, Rutland Town