Keith Odlin has two rules about his volunteering - only do things he regards as important, and make sure its something he likes doing.
PARRSBORO Keith Odlin has two rules about his volunteering - only do things he regards as important, and make sure its something he likes doing.
Working within those confines he has become one of the busiest volunteers in town, taking on active roles in the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 45 and also serving as commanding officer of the local air cadets squadron. Around that he manages to find time for his wife and three children, and his career as a full-time paramedic.
Its for those valuable volunteer contributions that the Town of Parrsboro has recognized Odlin as its volunteer representative of the year.
Small communities even big ones dont run unless people are prepared to volunteer, said Odlin. I know we all have busy lives, but if people dont volunteer, stuff doesnt get done. You cant get paid for everything you do.
It is with this attitude that he has taken on various roles and responsibilities within the local legion branch, including the position of service officer, which sees him looking out for the welfare of veterans who might need some assistance dealing with the system.
It is the same attitude he has taken with the countless hours he has put into sprucing up the cenotaph property, the new memorial garden at the legion, and into setting up the legions military museum, which will be unveiled in its new and improved version next month.
He never stops, said legion branch president Bedford Winters, who nominated Odlin for the recognition. He truly is a workaholic. But his hearts always in the right place, and he does a great job for the legion and the cadets. I dont know of anyone who donates any more time than he does.
A 20-year veteran of the New Zealand air force himself, Odlin said he takes great satisfaction in helping veterans receive benefits they are entitled to, and from working with the cadets, which he regards as the premier youth leadership organization in the country.
Really, its giving back, he said, of his continued military interest. It was a really good life, and I see this as community service, giving back to the community for my time served.
Odlin will represent the town at the provincial volunteer awards ceremony and luncheon in Halifax later this month, while Mayor Doug Robinson will also attend on behalf of the town.