What if there were no volunteers?

All of the activities, festivals, sports leagues and other events that we enjoy would not be there if not for volunteers.

No Fall Fair. No Terry Fox Run. No Graffiti Days or Ashcroft Show and Shine. No Canada Day. No Easter Egg Hunt. No Wellness Festival. No Desert Daze. No River Festival. No soccer, no hockey. No pony club. No no no no no no…

No, wait. They’re all still with us, and more, thanks to all of the people in our communities who volunteer.

Normally I’d save my praise for volunteers for Volunteer Week or Day or Month, but the past few weekends have kept me hopping to keep up with all of the volunteer-organized activities in our towns.

I look around at these events and wonder why more people don’t take advantage of these professionally-run events that are offered for next to nothing, but I see different people at each event (and sometimes the same ones at all of them) and I realize that not everyone is interested in the same things. And too, small crowds are one of the reasons we like living in small towns.

What does it take to be a volunteer? A small bit of initiative to show up at a meeting or registration night and offer to help. You shouldn’t have to offer twice.

It can take as little or as much work as you want to put into it. One of the great things about volunteering is that it can teach you new skills, depending on the group. That makes it very useful for young people who are looking for their first job. The common complaint is that no one will hire you until you have job skills – which makes volunteering the perfect place to start. You can also use it for references.

More than that, it’s a great feeling to give something to your community. Listening to the BC Sport Community Heroes (p. 16) last week, it was clear that the one thing they all had in common was that they loved helping others achieve their goals.

Even if you volunteer for the purely selfish reason (NOT) of learning new skills or getting out of the house, it all gives back – and you get out of this life what you give.

Congratulations to the Fall Fair volunteers for another well done event, and to all present, past and future volunteers for all of your hard work. We wouldn’t have a community without you all.

Wendy Coomber is the editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read