Kamloops is known far and wide as a community that cares.
Our citizens never fail to step up when the call goes out for help. They volunteer in droves for worthwhile causes and events. They’re always ready to pitch in when the need arises.
Whether it’s hitting the streets for literacy, walking for a good cause, raising money and life’s necessities for families in need or cooking up a turkey dinner for the less fortunate on Thanksgiving, there’s no shortage of compassion in the Tournament Capital.
Lately, however, the community’s generous spirit has taken flight to locations around the world, with grassroots efforts spreading cheer and hope in such far-flung places as Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Nicaragua and Guatemala to name a few.
Developing World Connections, a Kamloops-based non-profit that has opened its arms to the hungry and homeless halfway around the world, has captured the imagination and the hearts of hundreds of community volunteers over the years, all willing to spend their own money and time in an effort to make the world a better place.
It sowed the seeds of international volunteer activity here, giving rise to offshoot groups that have greatly expanded the city’s reach into the developing world.
And our city’s efforts have not gone without notice.
Most recently, Kamloops firefighters were honoured for their Operation Nicaragua campaign, which received a prestigious Global Co-operation Award from the British Columbia Council for International Co-operation.
Thanks to the efforts of the firefighters and the generosity of Kamloops residents and businesses, hundreds of Nicaraguans have clothes to wear, bicycles to ride and vital equipment that will enable them to respond to local emergencies in a way that we have come to take for granted in Canada.
Thanksgiving is an opportune time to ponder the achievements of various local groups and give thanks for what they do — and truly appreciate why they make the effort to help strangers in foreign lands.
Wayne McRann, who started Developing World Connections with a dream of giving something back to the global community, told The Daily News this week it’s high time Kamloops volunteers stood up and took a bow.
“Kamloopsians need to be recognized for the work they do in the international community,” he said.
We agree — and Thanksgiving is a great time to do it, to be thankful for the people who make Kamloops their home and represent our city so well around the world.
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.