LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

CLEVELAND -- With the government shut down, volunteers who give their time at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park are on a special furlough.

David Kopkas jokes that this is the second time he has been furloughed. He has volunteered at the national park since the early 2000s.

"My wife thought I needed something to do because she was still working," Kopkas said.

She found him a good spot at the park selling forever tags. If you've ever seen someone with a backpack, those are the patches that show people where someone has visited.

"I was responsible for doing the collections and ensuring that the visitor center and the off site locations had enough tags," Kopkas said.

When the outdoorsman wasn't working in the retail shops, you could find him on the park trails.

"I go from one end of the park to the other end, from Canal Visitor Center all the way to Akron," Kopkas said.

Kopkas filled every station in the 20,000-acre park with maps and brochures.

"I give people good directions if they want to know where a good hiking trail," he added.

From April to August, Kopkas volunteered a total of 342 hours and it's the main reason the Cleveland Indians made him their volunteer of the year.

"When you look at it, it looks like a lot of time, but it really is not that continuous," Kopkas said.

Kopkas loves to volunteer. It's something he likes to do in honor of his wife who died of ovarian cancer. He's even planted trees in her name at the park.

"She felt that they weren't doing enough to plant new trees because there was a lot of dead wood in the forest, and she is a great tree lover," he said.

And this volunteer is hoping more people will give back and volunteer for causes they believe in.

Oct. 26 is Make a Difference Day. Click here to see how you can get involved.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE