What does it take to feel like you’re part of a community? Do you need to be born in a place to feel like you’re a part of it? Marie Post wasn’t born in Saugerties. Yet she was definitely a major part of our community. How did this happen?
Marie and her husband, Claude, raised their family here. She was an active member of her church. She ran for office and served as an elected official. She started the animal shelter. She volunteered her time to help others in need. She did all of this in a most humble way, not expecting reward or glory, but because “You get a good feeling helping people.”
Instead of wondering what the town could do for her, she found ways to help the town. Instead of complaining about what wasn’t being done, she took the initiative and made things happen.
We all need to feel like we’re part of something bigger, part of a community. Sometimes we limit our sense of community to our church, or to a political party, or to a neighborhood, or to a bowling team, etc. To me, Marie’s sense of community included some of these things and more. Her community was Saugerties, the people and the animals.
Her sense of community was about giving. Some have called it “civic duty.”
Saugerties is known to have large numbers of citizen volunteers that form the town committees and the many nonprofit organizations that provide services to the town. Examples include the Boys and Girls Club, the Kiwanis Club, the Blue Kats, etc. Many of these volunteers are elderly. Some will say that retirees have the time to volunteer. While this is true, many of these folks are aging and new recruits need to be found.
How do we instill a sense of “civic duty” in the younger generation? If this sense is already there, how do we get them to volunteer — to be the next generation of Marie Posts?
At the Town Board meeting this week a discussion occurred about how to honor Marie. Suggestions included citizens creating a dog park and naming it after her and naming the current animal shelter for her. Both are great ideas.
I think the best way to honor the memory of Marie Post is to volunteer. Join a civic organization. Adopt an animal. Give to the food pantry. Donate to animal rescue. Be active in your church. Greet and embrace new neighbors. Donate your time to any of the nonprofit organizations in town. And do it all because it makes you feel good to give to others. And if you decide to honor Marie this way — with acts of civic duty — be sure to bring your children or grandchildren along so that they may learn the importance of community and giving.
Another great thing about Marie was, to my knowledge, she didn’t play politics. While she would have preferred candidates to be Conservative, her primary concern was candidates who would do what was best for the town. Because of this, she was known to support people registered as Independents and a few Democrats.
So, another way to honor her is to vote and vote for candidates who will be good for the town.
Marie lived a meaningful life — she found ways of serving others that made all of our lives better. She will be greatly missed.