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NRCS Employees Lend a Helping Hand

Celebrating National Volunteer Week All Year Long

Some might say that the reason so many NRCS employees also volunteer within their communities is because they’re care takers.  Their professional career revolves around caring for natural resources so it’s natural that their personal interests would include caring for their community. William Shoup, NRCS’s State Soil Scientist in Colorado, is one of those NRCSers who gives back and loves doing it.  

The Shoup’s have made volunteerism a family affair.  William and his wife are nestled in the suburbs of Denver and when deciding to give back they’ve realized you don’t have to go far to find someone or something in need. 

“My wife and I and my three kids volunteer with Ken Caryl Ranch Parks and Recreation,” shares Shoup.  “We live in Ken Caryl.  This is my local community.  My kids go to school here.  We use the parks, pools, trails; whatever it has to offer really.  So helping ensure its sustainable not only for our family but for so many others seems like the right thing to do and it gives the kids a sense of responsibility and accomplishment along with the realization that it important to help others.”

William and family gave about eight hours this past month.  They selected Parks and Recreation because many volunteer activities are different and there are always small things for kids to do, like move sand or mulch.  Shoup participates on weekends and is the first to sign up particularly when skilled labor is required. 

Our latest project was helping build an entire playground.  During national volunteer week many Ken Caryl residents rolled up their sleeves including the Shoups and spent an entire day installing slides, swings, sandpits, and monkey bars.  If it belonged on a playground, it got built that day. 

“We built everything on a Saturday, but the park didn’t open for a few days after,” Shoup goes on to say.  “My kids were so excited to go.  Every day they were asking if they could go and finally on the day we could it was great and clear that most everyone else’s kid was just as excited. Kids were jumping off everything.  They were having so much fun. The old playground was old and dated.  The new community park is not only a major upgrade it also provides an area for older kids to hang out which is neat.”

Shoup shared that he learned that volunteering was necessary at an early age.  It provides him with civic pride.   April 6-12 was national volunteer week and whether folks take a days within it to volunteer or make it a way of life like the Shoups have, the helping hand is always welcomed.