EDITORIAL – The real story behind the volunteers who make Kamloops tick
An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
LET’S BEGIN THE WEEK with something positive and see where it goes from here.
Some very important people were honoured in Kamloops these past few days. I’m talking about volunteers.
There was the annual Exemplary Service Awards ceremony to start things off. You can’t attend that event without feeling good inside. Nine people each received praise from the mayor plus special trophy presentations, and all had their photos taken.
They ranged in age from young to not so young, and in backgrounds from working folks to career professionals but they had one thing in common — their love of community and willingness to serve.
That event was followed Friday by the annual volunteer recognition event outside the Sandman Centre, where many more lunched on burgers and hot dogs.
A burger or a hot dog is small compensation for the hours volunteers put in for the city, but they don’t do it to get something — they do it to give.
Speaking of giving, it’s often said that volunteers “give back” to their communities, and that’s true. But they also receive something — the satisfaction that comes from seeing good things come of their efforts.
That’s what sets them apart from those who tear down instead of build. There’s an element that wants to deface, to vandalize, to destroy. They get a disproportionate amount of attention and too many headlines.
It’s one reason it’s so important to pause, as we all did during National Volunteer Week, to celebrate those among us who so selflessly work to make their communities better places.
Some are retired; others go out after a day at the office and work for the good of everyone in so many ways.
The truth is, Kamloops and communities everywhere simply couldn’t function without them. They ask for nothing in return but they appreciate being told every once in a while how essential they are to the lifestyle we enjoy.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor. Have a great week.
Mel Rothenburger is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He has served as mayor of Kamloops, school board chair and TNRD director, and is a retired newspaper editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for volunteering too.
Loved your story of how you stepped up to help your daughter transport Little John the Bear.
Not and easy volunteer job. A lot of folks learned about Northern Lights because of your article and hopefully will volunteer for a unique experience.
The dog we have now was rescued as a stray by the SPCA. This dog was about 6 or 7 months old and was a very, very busy boy. As he grew older, there seemed to be something pretty special about him.
A friend of our family is a volunteer for St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs and she said that Buddy and I should “try” to be accepted into the program.
It meant doing a 3 hour evaluation session along with other teams but we passed the grade, becoming certified just before the Covid lockdown.
Since then, we’ve volunteered at a couple of different long term care homes as well as at 7 vaccination clinics in Northills Mall and recently, at a construction office as part of their health and wellness program.
Being a volunteer is a neat experience.