The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

March 25, 2012

'I think we've brought the best out of people'

BY RUTH RICE
RRICE@TRIBDEM.COM

— Volunteer coordinator Janet Mical said there have been 75 volunteers in the three years VOMA has been in operation.

Everyday people and board members have pitched in.

Dennis Mical’s mother made  ham potpie for Cambria City Ethnic Fest.

For Thunder in the Valley, VOMA volunteers staff the children’s site for Cambria County Library.

Board member T.K. Mundok set up the art gallery and has hung artwork.

A group of volunteers who call themselves Our Daily Bread bake breads and cookies and donate them to VOMA, so the nonprofit can make money selling them for a donation.

Board members sell tickets at the door, tend the refreshment bar and plan weekly events.

“Some of the things that need to get done can’t depend on someone who comes anytime they want,” Dennis Mical said.

When their next-door neighbors in Cambria City go to Sam’s Club, they ask the Micals to make a list of what they need.

“I think we’ve brought the best out of people,” Janet Mical said.

“Once they’re here, they come back. We need to get the word out.”

Mundok and his board have come to realize that more help is needed and are appealing to the public to fill volunteer positions.

“We had more than 150 events in 2011, and I was down there every Thursday through Saturday,” Mundok said.

“It gets fatiguing, but we did make a lot of good things happen.”

Mundok said volunteers do what they do because of social responsibility and the satisfaction and sense of purpose that comes with it.

“It’s not about the money,” he said.

“We all have day jobs, but we believe in the community. It’s great to have a part in making Cambria City the arts and cultural district. It’s a new layer on the cake.”

Mundok said volunteers get status, recognition and satisfaction for their efforts.

“Your status in the community is elevated. Be part of an organization that’s bigger than yourself.”

Mundok explained that social citizenship is someone doing his or her part to change the world, but local change should come before global change.

Mundok would like to see VOMA partner with charitable organizations and be put in a network that others can plug into.

“We need more to plug in and pitch in, just chip in and do a little bit,” Mundok said.

Anyone interested in volunteering for VOMA in any capacity can contact Mundok online at thevomaspace@gmail.com.

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