A FRUIT ORCHARD STANDS IN TIDY ROWS at Horstings Farm.

Communities are made by people

Volunteerism is a special vocation that only the strong can handle. Not everyone is cut out for it.

Volunteering isn’t for everyone, a fact well known by those who do volunteer and wish there were more volunteers around to help. Volunteers are special.

It’s National Volunteer Week, so let’s sppreciate what volunteers do for us.

There’s no doubt that volunteers provide us with some of the best experiences and services that we’ll ever get, and in a small town such as ours, that is a vital role.

I often hear people complain that there’s no “this, that or the other” in our towns and “there’s nothing to do!” Well, imagine how much less there would be without volunteers.

No celebrations like Canada Day or the Easter Egg Hunts, no events like Desert Daze, Heritage Week, River Festival, Graffiti Days, Wellness Festival, musical concerts, art shows, parades… No services like our seniors’ housing, fire departments, minor sports, community radio, no gardening clubs, no sporting associations, no cadets or cubs or any of the other hundreds of activities that engage the public.

Without these things, there would be “nothing to do” and it wouldn’t be long before we started to notice a faster decline in our populations.

Volunteers such as we have are priceless. If our towns had to pay for the work they do for free…. well, they just couldn’t. It would be more than they had in their budget.

As a volunteer myself, I appreciate the support that my group receives from our municipality. In a “job” that doesn’t get much thanks, it is gratifying to know that our town council understands and appreciates the value of their volunteers.

Sometimes even a volunteer will grumble that are are too few volunteers and too much work to do, but volunteers tend to increase their own workload in order to provide more to their communities.

Why? Because they’re special. Because they enjoy seeing their plans come together and seeing people enjoying or benefitting from their work. Then they pat themselves on the back – or they pat each other on the back – and do it all over again.

It’s not a life for the weak!

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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