A city like Yorkton becomes a community thanks to the efforts of volunteers.
So it was a good thing when at their regular meeting Monday Yorkton Council unanimously declared National Volunteer Week in the city.
“Volunteering is part of our identity as Canadians – we value civic participation and embrace a spirit of community. The tremendous efforts of our 13.3 million volunteers help make Canada a vibrant, safe place to call home. Across the country, Canadians are getting involved and leading positive change in a variety of ways, all of them vital – from quick bursts of mobile micro-volunteering on smartphone to front-line disaster relief efforts overseas,” said Lisa Washington, Community Development Manager with the City at the meeting Monday.
Washington said locally volunteers are an integral part of our city’s fabric.
“Volunteers in Yorkton mentor our children, feed our hungry, comfort our lonely, beautify our green spaces and fundraise for our charitable organizations. Volunteers operate our sport organizations, recreation activities, and cultural events. Yorkton’s volunteers are young, old, families, workers, retirees, men and women of all ages and backgrounds. The collective result of the work done by our city’s volunteers is that Yorkton is a more desirable place to live, work and play.”
What Washington was getting at is more simply put by saying volunteers give our community its heart.
Imagine a city without people willing to give of their time to coach our children? To help our elderly? To do a thousand and one things in our city which add to the fabric of our community.
It was interesting to listen to Councillor Ross Fisher talk about how volunteerism is also an economic stimulator accounting for some 10 per cent of the country’s economy.
But more importantly Fisher said the efforts of today’s volunteers also help teach our youth about things such as compassion, and caring, and the willing to give of ourselves to help others. Certainly those are things we want instilled in our youth, and volunteers reinforce that through selfless actions.
Hopefully our willingness to volunteer is something as a society we do not lose. It can be easy to get lost in our pursuit of careers, paying bills and enjoying time to put our feet up and relax. But there is something we gain when we take the opportunity to volunteer. There is the camaraderie of working with others to achieve a common goal, and the satisfaction of doing something good for others.
And so it is a good thing when Council, and the City, take the chance to tip their hat and say thanks for those efforts.
Volunteerism is alive and well locally and that makes Yorkton a better place for all of us.