On Centre: Around Philipsburg | A time to give thanks for volunteers

When it comes to giving thanks, there are a lot of things that you don’t realize you are thankful to have until you need them.

For many, that includes the people you never want to need. The people who make a difference when you are in a situation you never anticipated. The people who step up to the plate when someone has to take the bat.

In the Moshannon Valley, we are blessed to have a wealth of people who fit that bill. One of the hardest parts of getting information about a fire or accident in our area is making sure that you know all of the first responders who showed up — and what role they played.

In some communities, that’s not a big deal. The fire department is the fire department, and it’s filled with amazing people who make a living doing a job that most people just can’t begin to imagine. They are soldiers who protect us from danger, and the enemy is fire.

But in areas like the Moshannon Valley, and other neighborhoods of Centre County, we give thanks that in a place where no one is paid to put their lives on the line that way, we have people who will do it for free.

From Hope and Reliance in Philipsburg to Columbia in Osceola Mills, from Mountain Top in Sandy Ridge to Morris Township and Houtzdale and Ramey and more than I can list off-hand, these are the people who save lives in our area. They save homes. They give us the priceless gift of sleeping safely at night, knowing they will be there if they are needed.

And we should all be so very grateful.