Russell Parrish (with award) is flanked by sister Jade Wiersma, Dad Brad Wiersma, and Mom Carole Wiersma on the left and Veterans Service Officer Steven Cain on the right. “We hope this encourages other people who are seeking volunteer opportunities to consider helping local disabled veterans,” said Cain.
Veterans Office recognizes Russell Parrish for his volunteerism
By Ken DeLaat
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Volunteerism is kindness in action.
At this week’s regular meeting of the Newaygo County Board of Commissioners Russell Parrish of Grant was awarded the Outstanding Student Volunteer award by the Newaygo County Veterans Affairs Committee and the BOC.
A student at Grant High, Russell reached out to the Veterans Affairs office last summer to see if any Veterans needed help with their yard work. The local VA office connected him with a local veteran who had a severe back injury from their time in the service. They were no longer able to mow the lawn, do hedges outside because of this injury and did not have the funds to hire a landscaper.
Russell helped this veteran with the yard work that summer.
Then he returned in the fall to rake leaves.
When winter arrived he was back again, this time to shovel the driveway.
Russell’s family and this veteran have now connected and have a good friendship as a result of the volunteer work he has done and continues to do.
This is a young man who exemplifies the concept of service to others. Of doing more than just taking the time to perform a task.
Many people talk about doing things for others yet seldom follow through.
Some people lend a hand but are quick to ensure that everyone knows of their largesse.
Others, like Mr. Parrish, quietly go out and perform acts of kindness.
Silently, willfully, and selflessly helping someone in need.
Simply because they are in need.