Clearwater seeing shortage in volunteers

More people from younger generations are needed to keep clubs and organizations afloat

It seems Clearwater is running low on volunteers across its many clubs and organizations that depend on them to operate.

One local resident known for lending her spare time said she would like to make a request, asking people, especially in the younger generations, to consider helping out before some of the town’s services and recreational activities begin disappearing.

“All the organizations are run by people 60 and over—there’s a lack of young people interested in doing any volunteer work,” said Niki McMillan, who’s been volunteering since she was 10 years-old and belongs to groups like the Women’s Institute, Red Cross H.E.L.P., Clearwater and District Hospice Society, and the sorority Beta Sigma Psi.

“Women’s Institute used to put on a Halloween party for all the kids, they used to put on a Christmas party for all the kids, and we used to have a pancake breakfast once a month as well, but there’s just not enough people to do it (anymore).”

She added the Women’s Institute is down to fewer than half a dozen members, all of whom are in their 60s, 70s and 80s, making it difficult to do the work it once prided itself on.

Volunteers are responsible for providing many services, she said, as well as raising a healthy portion of funds to go back into the community.

“The sorority holds a craft auction and we spend the money in the community, we donate to the food bank and we keep our ears open if there’s a family that might need gas money to Kamloops because somebody is in the hospital; we try to provide that to them,” said McMillan.

She also sits with patients at the hospital to keep them company and offer conversation as part of the Clearwater and District Hospice society, which she said she feels is rewarding and makes giving her spare time worth it.

McMillan added she realizes many people may have young children and are busy with jobs, but when she was younger she had the same obligations and was still able to volunteer with several different organizations.

“I don’t know whether the public just thinks somebody else will do it, or they just don’t think to do it themselves,” she said, adding in many cases one doesn’t have to sacrifice a whole lot to make a difference.

“Red Cross I do once a month for three hours.”

Anyone interested in volunteering time can find a list of clubs and organizations in the North Thompson Community Directory available at the Clearwater North Thompson Times office.

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