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  • Mark Olivito

Volunteers: Heroes Big & Small & Needed More Than Ever

Updated: Oct 11

It's amazing how a stroll through the PAVERART's shop floor and seeing the variety of designs can trigger a family memory.


Yesterday I walked past a custom Maltese Cross design and I recalled a moment earlier this year when my son asked for a book recommendation for school. "That's easy, "THE OUTSIDERS" by S.E. Hinton!"

Not just a great book, but the Outsiders was turned into a movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola and a quick google of the cast I counted 10 stars, LONG before they were household names, but I digress!


There's a scene in the Outsiders where 3 of the main characters, all teenagers who grew up "on the other side of the tracks" drive by a burning church with a bunch of kids trapped in it. Long story short, Ponyboy (great name) makes a split second decision, jumps out of the car and runs into the burning church. The other 2 reluctantly follow. Here's the clip.



I often think about the bravery of any person in an emergency situation, whatever that is, when the moment comes and they have the opportunity to ACT (or not). It gets me thinking about critical areas of our society:

  • Volunteers for local communities.

  • People that Serve on Non Profit Boards.

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters and any other mentoring of youth

  • People that donate their time and talent (not just $'s) to worthy causes that could use them (What communities do NOT?)

I'd like to highlight a profession that has been near and dear to PAVERART for our 17 years in existence: FIREFIGHTERS. I am amazed at the bravery of anybody that runs INTO the fire, not away from it, all for the very purpose of saving someone's life. To say this is purely selfless is an understatement.


Many people do not realize, but the majority of Firefighters in our great country are actually VOLUNTEERS!

"According to a 2014 report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), about 70 percent of America’s firefighters are volunteers, and 85 percent of the nation’s fire departments are all or mostly volunteer, according to NFPA. The smallest communities — those with fewer than 10,000 residents — are almost always served by volunteer departments, also, according to NFPA. Nationwide, volunteer fire departments save municipalities and taxpayers $139.8 billion per year in firefighting costs."

The impact of a Volunteer Firefighter is easily measured in terms of $'s and cents, but how do you measure the value of a life saved?


We love what we do at PAVERART, and we work with Landscape Architects & Designers across the country beautifying outdoor living spaces across Municipalities, Sports Stadiums, Churches, Homes, Schools, Businesses and YES, Fire Departments!


Every piece we make tends to have a story, as all ART does. But I'd be lying if I didn't say that walking past the Firehouse Designs doesn't give me that extra "Tingle" when I think about people that WILLINGLY VOLUNTEER to run TOWARDS the danger of a burning building and not away from it.

What would the world look like if "Volunteering" became contagious? I can't think of a year in our history where that would be more welcome than 2020!



Copiague Fire Department Custom Maltese Cross by PAVERART


The PAVERART FIRE DEPARTMENT PAGE.




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