It’s National Volunteer Week, a time to appreciate those unsung heroes who give so much of themselves to make our community the vibrant, caring place it is.
Across the country, 13.3 million volunteers contribute 2.1 billion hours of time, according to Statistics Canada, a volume of work that is equivalent to just under 1.1 million full-time jobs.
Let’s be honest, we’d all like to see more jobs, but the work that volunteers do covers tasks that might otherwise not be done.
Stats Canada notes that 10 per cent of our nation’s volunteers account for 53 per cent of non-profit and charitable organizations. These uber volunteers give a minimum of 390 hours annually, which equates into almost 10 weeks at a full-time job.
Yet, a new survey released this week by Vision Critical, The Volunteering Habits of Canadians, found 67 per cent of British Columbians say they would like to volunteer but cite a lack of time as the reason they can’t.
The study was released to coincide with the launch of a recruitment campaign in the Lower Mainland for Big Brothers and Big Sisters. The non-profit wants to let people know that being a volunteer — making a difference in one’s community or on a more personal level, in the life of someone else — doesn’t have to be time-consuming, in fact it can take as little time as watching two hour-long TV shows each week.
The Daily News publishes a listing from Volunteer Kamloops on Mondays, which outlines groups in our community looking for a hand. Might you be able to knock on a few doors to let people know how to be Bear Aware? Can you give tours of the hospital for school children? Can you help immigrants with their English skills or are you handy with the knitting needles?
Volunteering can take on so many forms, we each must ask ourselves if we can make a couple hours to contribute, lend a hand to that hard-working 10 per cent who are already doing so much.
And, while we’re on the subject, a hearty thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who make Kamloops and area what it is. We appreciate you!
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.