Just consider what the North Okanagan would be like if there weren’t volunteers.
All minor sports would grind to a halt, as would a lot of pursuits at seniors facilities. There wouldn’t be a Search and Rescue unit to turn to when someone was lost or was injured in the bush.
Vital activities would disappear in unincorporated communities like Cherryville, Grindrod and Falkland while critical funds for health care would be in short supply without the efforts of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Auxiliary and the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Health Care Auxiliary.
Consider the social and economic hit our region would take if there weren’t volunteers behind the scenes at the Interior Provincial Exhibition, Lumby Days, Funtastic or Vernon Winter Carnival.
What would our tax bills look like if governments had to provide all of the programs and services volunteers are involved in? Local food banks would struggle to help those in need if there weren’t volunteers behind the scenes sorting food and putting together hampers.
Volunteers touch every aspect of our lives.
But there are challenges ahead as many of the people who give of themselves are aging and physically they are unable to contribute as they have in the past. For others, volunteering is something they would like to do but it’s a struggle when they also balance raising a family or are trying to make ends meet in tough economic times.
During the recent holiday season, we saw the very best of people as they embraced the Christmas spirit and rang bells, collected food, gathered warm clothes or donated funds.
But the reality is that giving isn’t something that’s needed just once a year.
As we enter 2016, consider the community around you and how you have benefitted from others. Make a resolution to get involved.