This week is National Volunteering Week and given the statistics, organizations across Canada, have reason to celebrate.
In Penticton, events such as the Peach City Beach Cruise, the PeachFest, Fest-of-Ale, the Wine Fest and the Jazz Festival could not happen without volunteers, from board members to ticket takers.
The Penticton hospital, the Soupateria, shelters and many other social service organizations all count on the dedication of volunteers.
Relay for Life, countless walks and rides, Paws for a Cause and Citizens on Patrol, are just a few more causes counting on volunteers.
According to Statistics Canada, more than 13 million, or about half of all Canadians aged 15 and older, donated at least some time in the service of their communities.
In all they donated 2.07 billion hours of their time, which is about 1.1 million full-time jobs. That’s a lot of helping.
Regardless of the type of work done as a volunteer, it all helps make for a stronger community.
According to a 2011 UN report, volunteerism benefits not only society at large but also the individual volunteer by, “strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.”
Many volunteers don’t work for recognition, they often work in the shadows simply because something needs to be done.
Others, are front and centre with a smile, a shoulder, a hand, but they too shy away from recognition.
The Western News thanks all volunteers for their efforts that make the South Okanagan a better place to live.