It’s National Volunteer Week, which provides a fine opportunity to recognize those who volunteer their time, assistance and skills right here in Ketchikan.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a volunteer as someone who “voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service. As a verb, to volunteer is “to offer or bestow voluntarily.”

Those phrases are dryly accurate, but it’s the volunteers we know here in Ketchikan who breathe life and meaning to the words.

You might be a volunteer yourself (thank you!) — and you certainly know some.

They’re organizing the after-church refreshments and the big service club projects. They’re coaching youth sports and building sets for local theater productions. You’ll find them behind the counter at the hospital gift shop, and sitting with hospice patients. They’re shoveling snow from the neighbor’s driveway, and assisting in search-and-rescue operations. They’re picking up trash and staffing the fundraising booths. They’re doing what they can to be of service.

In brief, Ketchikan volunteers are essential to many aspects of local life. And some Ketchikan volunteers participate on a broader scale, too, with entities such as the Red Cross.

In Declaring April 16-24 as National Volunteer Week, President Joe Biden recognized and celebrated the millions of Americans who volunteer, and he encourage more Americans to become involved in volunteering.

“Every American has something to give,” Biden said in the proclamation. “No matter your age, background, or where you come from, you can have an impact through service.”

That rings true here in Ketchikan. We all have something to give, and in the giving, can provide a positive effect for our neighbors and community.

Here’s to the many fine volunteers of Ketchikan. We appreciate and thank you, not just during this special week, but all the year long.