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Base volunteers worth millions

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- RAF Lakenheath volunteers were recognized at a luncheon April 26 for their donated efforts, which added up to millions of dollars worth of time and support given to agencies both on and off base over the past year.

More than 1,000 individuals from RAF Lakenheath spent 168,000 hours volunteering both on base and off, according to 48th Fighter Wing family support center records.

Using U.S. Bureau of Statistics information, volunteer coordinators here estimated the volunteer efforts added up to $2,700,000 worth of time and service donated.

"Volunteers provide consistency for our programs while military members are deployed, a contagious spirit of caring and enthusiasm, and inspiration to us all," said Edward Cole, community readiness consultant here who served as master of ceremonies for the event.This annual luncheon is designed to applaud their selfless efforts and contributions."

Volunteer recognition week began in America in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed the proclamation declaring it a week to recognize the efforts of volunteers across the nation. "Volunteerism gives something back to the community while at the same time allows us to feel a sense of fulfillment," said Squadron Leader Jo Daniels, RAF Lakenheath's RAF commander and guest speaker at the luncheon. Take time to reevaluate your own contribution to your community, take inspiration from those around you, think about what you can do—then go out and do it".

There are more than 28 base agencies where people can volunteer their time and experience to help others, including the Airman's Attic, the Airman's food pantry, the base chapel and the sexual assault response office. "

The full spectrum of volunteering going on at RAF Lakenheath has an impact on this base, in our wing and with our individual families daily," said Brig. Gen. Robert P. Steel, 48th FW commander.Volunteers are the inspiration for others to follow and set the example for all of us."