Editor, The Times:
This past week I have had a lot of time to think about the many aspects of being a volunteer as I drove in and home from Kamloops to participate as a volunteer at the BC Senior Games in Kamloops. As you likely heard, this was the largest sporting event (with 3,600 participants and 1,300 volunteers) that Kamloops has ever hosted. The rush of energy and the feeling of camaraderie that came with my contribution of time contributed to living a really fun week. I enjoyed greeting athletes and handing them their credentials. The icing for the volunteers at the Games was dinner and entertainment by the Rube Band followed by raffle draws on Saturday night after the games concluded. It was a fabulous event.
This past week also saw Thompson-Nicola Regional District officials visit Clearwater. One of the events the TNRD sponsored while here was a dinner to say thank you to the volunteers who work on various TNRD committees. People were honored for service and awards were given. The generosity of both these events, although greatly appreciated, was a bit overwhelming for me.
Volunteering for me is like breathing. It infuses the world with life.
I can’t help but think of all the hours of work volunteers in our community do to breathe life into our community. Thrift shop, gift store clerks and volunteers at Forestview all support the hospital. We have PAC and sports and literacy volunteers that support children at school. We have club volunteers such as 4-H, Guides and Scouts that support children after school. There are sports clubs that support skiing, figure skating, hockey, soccer and baseball to name a few. There are volunteers who work for service clubs such as Elks and Rotary and churches and, and, and … the list goes on.
It has been energizing for me this week, to take a breath, look around and appreciate the volume of work done by volunteers. If you are wondering how you could be part of this fine group, I have suggestions for you. Decide what skills you have that you want to share with a group.
Decide what age group you want to support. If you have children at school, ask their teacher how you can be of help. If you are sports minded, attend a meeting. If you are service minded, attend a meeting. Fine a niche that fits your interests and talents, and look around and ask, “How can I help?” Not only will you be breathing life into our community, you will find yourself living with a renewed sense of vigor. I send a hearty thank you to all of you who already give time and energy to keep our community alive and vital.