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As we slip into Spring, many of us might have left our New Year's resolutions behind. Perhaps you are not going to the gym as often as you wanted or neglecting those healthy meals you promised yourself you would eat regularly. But April is the perfect month to think about volunteering in the community if that was one of your resolutions - or even if it wasn't. There are a lot of great volunteer opportunities in the Tobacco Valley this month so consider picking up the phone or stopping by to offer your services. And such a range! You can help with the Eureka spruce up day on April 18th when we give downtown a Spring cleaning. The Rendezvous committee can always use help as they plan events and get things organized for the weekend of April 24-26. And then there are other opportunities such as helping with the Community Soup Night which happens every Tuesday at the Senior Center (you don't have to cook if you are willing to wash dishes). The Board of History is starting to get the Historical Village fixed up so it can open as a museum on Memorial Day weekend. Raking, small carpentry repairs and even dusting are some of the tasks that volunteers will do there. And if you are a 'people person', you can volunteer to be a docent at the Village museum once a week through the summer, greeting visitors and telling them about the valley. The Tobacco Valley Animal Shelter, Creative Arts Center, and Sunburst Community Service Foundation are local nonprofits that can always use volunteer help. Opportunities include walking dogs, petting cats, helping Alice prepare for the Trash 2 Flash event in May, and putting posters up around town. Do you want to help an older person prepare their garden? Or would you like to organize this summer's Eureka Farmers Market? What about pitching in to help a scout troop, clean up a section of the Kootenai Trail or read to someone at the nursing home? There are so many wonderful ways that you can interact with the community helping to make it an even better place to live and play. Whether you are willing to commit to a weekly task or just have a free afternoon to give, there is surely something out there that can use your skills and abilities. Thomas Jefferson once said, "May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion." Thanks.

Rita Collins

About the Author: Rita Collins. I am a believer in the power of community and for now I call the Tobacco Valley home. I have lived in nine states and three counties and this community here amazes me - how people reach out to neighbors and even travelers. I've never lived in a place that demonstrates people caring for each other so well. And I've never lived in a place that has such a high percentage of talented musicians and artists. I work with the the Sunburst Community Service Foundation, a nonprofit that began in Eureka twenty years ago and now serves numerous communities in western Montana. And I just started a new business, St. Rita's Amazing Traveling Bookstore and Textual Apothecary. I never could have imagined life being this exciting in my sixth decade.

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---- Visit NW Montana ----

VisitNWMontana.com is all about inspiring, promoting and helping to build and sustain NW Montana through stories, blogs, photos and fun – one person, one business and one experience at a time.

Northwestern Montana is a charming area of quaint towns, millions of acres of state and federal land, hiking, camping, waterfalls, rock climbing, fishing and hunting, skiing and snowmobiling. We offer an impressive collection of shops, art galleries, golf courses, bed and breakfasts, spas, and restaurants not to mention annual events such as the Bull Thing, the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Fun Run, and the Eureka Montana Quilt Show. Enjoy the outdoors and the small town spirit that makes you feel right at home. Stay for a short trip, or meet with a realtor to find out about owning your own little piece of Montana real estate.

Where are we and how do you get here? Fly into Glacier National Park Airport (FCA) or Spokane International Airport (GEG). Eureka is 7 miles from the Canadian (Roosville) Border and 67 miles east of Libby or 51 miles north of Whitefish.

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