Editorial: the heart of a volunteer

Editorial: the heart of a volunteer

Quesnel’s Volunteer Citizen of the Year will be named tonight

Volunteers are the backbone of any small community, and Quesnel is no exception.

From the sports fields to the hospital to the schools, organizations across our city rely on the dedication and selfless generosity of volunteers to get things done in our community.

This week is National Volunteer Week, and Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness Jennifer Rice released an opinion piece to media on Monday, praising the efforts of those who helped during last year’s fires – from the volunteer fire fighters to the emergency social services volunteers.

Rice noted that these trained volunteers risk their lives to help others.

These trained volunteers are heros, and last summer would have been different without their dedication. But volunteers don’t have to be on the front lines to deserve praise.

Living in a small community, we see the impact these individuals’ efforts make every day.

The upcoming softball and soccer seasons would not happen without volunteers. Low-income seniors who benefit from the Meals on Wheels program would have a tough time getting enough to eat if it weren’t for volunteers. The Quesnel Community Foundation’s annual gala, which raised $16,000 (see page A17) for community grants, couldn’t have been pulled off without the help of volunteers.

The 2017 Volunteer Citizen of the Year will be honoured tonight (April 18), and the achievements of the four outstanding nominees will be showcased at the annual event.

There can only be one Volunteer Citizen of the Year award winner, but we as a community should remember to take time to thank all the volunteers who make Quesnel a great place to live. From your kids’ coaches to the artists who staff Cariboo Keepsakes to the Quesnel Lions Club members who’ve worked so hard to install more seniors’ housing in Quesnel, the volunteers in our community give what they can with a smile on their faces.

“Your efforts reflect the very best of what it is to be human. You make the lives of all British Columbians better, strengthen communities and make the world a more just and kinder place,” wrote Rice in her statement.

Next time you encounter one of Quesnel’s many volunteers, tip your hat, nod your thanks, give a big smile, or even offer a hug. It may not be a plaque for their wall, but these interactions are the very rewards volunteer citizens work so hard to achieve.

Melanie Law

Quesnel Cariboo Observer