This week agencies across Chilliwack are acknowledging a resource they could not survive without: their volunteers.
It is difficult to image this city without them.
Hockey rinks and soccer fields would be silent. Meals for the hungry would go unserved. Litter along our rivers and trails would go uncollected. Comfort for the lonely and care for the elderly would be undelivered.
This week is National Volunteer Week – a chance for us to thank the thousands of people around us who give their time to make Chilliwack a better place to live.
This year’s theme reads, “Volunteers are the roots of strong communities.”
And those roots run deep.
Across Canada it is estimated that nearly 13 million people volunteer their time. Without their work, many of the services and institutions we take for granted would simply not exist.
In Chilliwack it’s difficult to put a number to the people who donate their time. But the time they contribute is significant.
At Chilliwack Community Services alone, for example, more than 250 people gave up 20,000 hours of their time last year.
For some, it might mean a couple of hours each month. For others the commitment is as extensive as a full-time job.
Few volunteers will acknowledge what they do is anything special. Accolades are not why they contribute their time.
And yet, they deserve our applause. And so do the businesses that cultivate a climate that allows employees share their time.
Chilliwack is fortunate to have as many volunteers as it does.
But there is always room for more.
A good place to start is the volunteer opportunities page on the Chilliwack Community Services website.