The Gleaner
Opinions

Volunteering is at the heart of the Valley

There is a common theme that runs through several articles featured in both the regular edition and the Farm Supplement of this newspaper. From successful volunteer-driven fundraisers to dedicated Scout leaders, committed producers, exemplary young people, and courageous educators, this edition speaks volumes of the many ways in which the Valley thrives because of its volunteers.

The fact so many of the featured stories on organizations also include a plea for new members or volunteers hints loudly at a growing scarcity of individuals who are willing and able to donate their time. It is a real concern for many of our non-profit organizations and community groups who are simply not able to function at full capacity, or at all, without a dedicated group of volunteers.

This year’s National Volunteer Week will start on April 24. The theme for this edition of that annual celebration highlights empathy and its strong connection with volunteerism. According to Volunteer Canada, which promotes National Volunteer Week, the act of donating our time, energy, and services helps to build empathy by allowing us to better see the world through the eyes of others. Volunteers “create caring, collaborative, and compassionate communities” through their actions, understanding, and contributions. This is especially the case here in the Valley.

Our tight-knit social networks help link us together across this expansive rural area, from Dundee to Hemmingford, and volunteering for important local causes gives meaning to those networks. It has the potential to enrich our lives beyond the everyday workload.

Thanks to all the volunteers who make the Valley a special place.

Sarah Rennie

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