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Back in February we wrote an opinion piece that suggested that folks who were collecting unemployment benefits work a few hours a week for a non-profit or some other government job until they were fortunate enough to find a full-time job.

We had quite a number of negative responses to that suggestion from our Facebook friends.

Apparently other folks feel the same as we do. State Senator John Albers of Roswell recently proposed a bill for the Georgia legislature that would require residents of Georgia who are receiving benefits to volunteer at least 24 hours per week for a non-profit charitable organization.

While we don’t know if 24 hours is the proper amount of time or not, but we’ll leave the fine details to the lawmakers to hammer out. Even locally, though, we know there is a demand for volunteer help. There are volunteer organizations that are in great need of volunteers to help them right now; one example is the local Lions Club, which needs help with marshaling their parade this weekend.

We endorse this effort by Senator Albers and we encourage our own representatives to support his efforts.

We respect the fact that people are unemployed, and we know that it is tough to find jobs in this economy. Still, there is no reason that these folk should not work and volunteer for their pay, the same as folks who are fortunate enough to have jobs.

We can all only hope and pray that soon we will see a light at the end of the proverbial business tunnel and we won’t need to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the state here in Newton County.