Volunteering is important to a community.
There are many things that get accomplished only because of volunteers.
This summer exemplified that more than anything through volunteer firefighters, ESS volunteers and many others.
However, even outside of major events such as these, volunteering is important.
It takes volunteer hours to keep snowmobile and other trails groomed. The local Lions club built what is now the Parkside Arts Gallery, the 100 Mile House Cemetery, Centennial Park and much more.
It’s also no secret that many organizations are struggling to get enough volunteers or members such as the 100 Mile House Snowmobile Club (see A17).
Personally, I struggle with this a fair bit. When I was in university I used to volunteer a lot; I volunteered as a first aid attendant at sports and community events, I volunteered for a Saturday program for disadvantaged elementary school children and was a member or president of several clubs.
Now, I do very little.
I’m lucky to make it home by 6 to 7 p.m. most days (when there aren’t evening events to cover) giving me about a 50-50 shot of making it home before the baby is asleep (and I do like seeing the baby).
I’m not trying to have a pity party for myself; I’m sure I’m in the same situation as many young parents but it serves as an example of the challenges in terms of volunteering.
Many of my wife and my peers have done the same in that they were away from the Cariboo for a couple of years and are now returning to start a family.
Consequently, the years when volunteering is easy are spent away. The years when it gets more difficult are back in the community.
On the opposite end of things, many of the people who have been volunteers for a host of different things for years are slowly getting older and can’t perform the same tasks anymore or have had to move away for health or other reasons.
In a couple of years, my child(ren) (who knows) will be busy with sports, music, friends or other afterschool activities and maybe that’ll make it easier to volunteer again, whether it’s coaching his soccer team or whatever he may be into.
Until then all I can say is thank you to those who are putting in the time and good on you to parents with young children who are still out there volunteering.
Your time and effort is much appreciated.