After a couple of years in what might best be called a hiatus, the Yorkton United Way is back with plans for fundraising including a residential blitz in September and a business canvass in October.
The United Way is of course an excellent idea at its core. It brings together various charitable organizations and has them working collectively to raise funds.
It is a process which helps raise the profile for smaller groups by being under the United Way banner, spreads the workload of fundraising, again benefiting smaller groups, and of course benefiting the public by having one knock on the door seeking support rather than many.
So the rebirth of the local United Way is good news for member groups such as SIGN, the Boys and Girls Club of Yorkton, the Yorkton branch of Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and the Canadian Mental Health Drop In Centre.
But a question lingers, why would a group as worthy as the United Way ever waver to the point it was all but lost in Yorkton?
New Board head Marjorie Smith said it comes down to having committed volunteers.
“There wasn’t a committed Board, where now we do have a committed Board,” she said, adding those involved now see the UW “as a primary role for them.”
Stagnation may have been an issue for the United Way, but then one is left wondering why it took two years to find fresh faces to rejuvenate the organization?
The underlying truth of the matter is how organizations attract new people into the fold.
It does not seem to matter whether it is a Junior hockey club seeking directors for its board, service clubs looking to add members so they can carry on their good work in the community, or organizations such as the United Way, attracting volunteers grows ever more difficult.
It may not be a case of Yorkton being unique in this circumstance, but then again it certainly is not bucking a broader trend either.
Certainly the pressures we all face seems to suck our energy away these days. We face situations where both parents are forging careers, trying to get their children to the varied activities offered youth in our city, and then finding some time just to relax. It’s a hectic schedule that keeps some from adding the role of volunteer to their list of things to do.
But is it so much different for people today in terms of time demands?
It is not so long ago families would be chasing eight, 10, 12 children around while maintaining a household devoid of the plethora of electronic devices we now rely on.
They still found time to volunteer to the point Saskatchewan has a proud heritage of volunteerism.
It is something of our past we seem to be letting slip by the wayside, and if we are not careful the next time a good organization falters, it may not survive to continue its good work.