Wednesday November 26, 2014

EDITORIAL - Volunteerism always timely


A city like Yorkton becomes a community thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

So it was a good thing each year Yorkton Council unanimously declares National Volunteer Week in the city.

Helping others is a wonderful notion, and finding the time to do good in today’s hectic world can be problematic. Fortunately, it is never impossible. Volunteering is a bit like physical exercise: once you feel the benefits you will be more inclined to make room for it in your schedule. As the summer comes to an end it is an opportunity to give up some of your time for others.

Volunteering mobilizes people of all ages and all levels of society and provides us with inspirational role models. Volunteer work generates benefits for both those who help and those who are helped. For proof of this, one only has to look at the rewarding experiences the majority of caregivers report after having put their own lives on hold in order to look after a loved one.

All these people, as well as the help groups they volunteer with, are indispensable to our society. After having been helped, many people suffering from a disability or a chronic illness feel ready to support their peers in turn. Nothing can be more stimulating than such exchanges between people with a shared reality.

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 is interesting volunteerism is also an economic stimulator accounting for some 10 per cent of the country’s economy.

But more importantly 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.

-- Portions of this editorial appeared in YTW in 2012.



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