Chesterfield volunteers providing millions of dollars in service

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — In Chesterfield County millions of dollars in services are being provided without any cost to taxpayers. That’s because of thousands of hours being provided by local volunteers.

For the past five years, Robert Brown has volunteered for Chesterfield County. Brown, retired with a degree in planning, decided he would offer help in the planning department.

“The biggest thing that would help them would be to put signs in because it takes them so much time away from their regular work to go out and do this,” said Brown.

By his side, is his wife Marnie.

“She’s the navigator and I’m the driver and I’m the guy who puts the signs up,” Robert says.

“People sort of laugh when I say it’s fun but we just have a nice day, and we go have lunch and spend the day together,” Marnie says. It’s fun, it’s nice, it’s a nice day, it’s not hard.”

The Browns were recently honored with the county’s Treasured Volunteer Award. The county not only recognized the Browns but highlighted the work of over 4,000 volunteers working 142,000 hours the county valued at more than $3.5 million.

Mary Martin Selby, who works in human resources for the county, says that if it wasn’t for the volunteers program cuts would have to be made.

“If it wasn’t for volunteers working alongside our employees, a lot of the services and programs that we offer would be reduced or may not be offered at all,” Selby said.

Marnie says likes being able to help.

“It means a lot because we know that we’re giving them the ability to do things that are not so mundane,”  Marnie said.

“If you give your time, you’re investing yourself in your community,” Robert added.

The county is hoping, even more, people will decide to invest their time just like the Browns.

“Whether you want to volunteer to work with children, or in public safety, there’s something for everyone and we would encourage them to go out and look at the opportunities and apply,” Selby said .

The Browns do a lot more than just put out signs. They also work with college interns, compile architectural designs and help residents. If you are interested in volunteering in Chesterfield visit http://www.chesterfield.gov/Volunteer/.Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips to iReport8@wric.com.

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