Is there such a thing as a bad volunteer?

Celebrating the countless volunteers who make small towns run

Dear Editor,

About 10 years ago I was accused by a local of being a bad volunteer. I immediately resigned my post and waited curiously to see who would take my place. Of course what happened—as it so often does in small rural communities—is that no one did. We now had no volunteer.

As I wrote my “Talking Stick” article I began to realize that all these folks who had approached me for funding were also the volunteers of their communities. They not only provided the foundation for a better “quality of life” for their communities, they were also the fundraisers. These incredible individuals or groups often go about their business with little fanfare, mostly unnoticed; yet with funding for rural communities at a premium, their value cannot and should not be underestimated They build communities, one brick at a time.

I find it disturbing that the loudest voices in our little communities often point fingers of incompetence, wrongdoing, and bad decision-making at our most cherished assets: the longtime volunteers. Whether you don’t like the process, disagree with a decision, or just don’t like the volunteer, the loud dissenting voice could become a more effective voice if you chose to lift a hand to volunteer yourself.

Sadly, most of these shouts for justice do nothing to move a community forward. On the contrary: they often create rumblings that gnaw at the harmony of small town life. In extreme cases it can actually create a scenario where the townsfolk are choosing sides: not based on the issue, or the project, or the idea, but on what side it came from.

Maybe all of us should try to be a little more understanding and a little more compromising, no matter what side of the fence we stand on. Only then will a rebuilding of trust begin to blossom, and a community begin to bloom.

Let us also take the time to say THANK YOU,  and to buy our new and longtime volunteers a coffee, or a beer at the local pub, once in a while, just to let them know that the time they give their community is noted and much appreciated.  Cheers to our volunteers!

Steve Rice

Spences Bridge

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read