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Editorial: Volunteers make city a community

National Volunteer Week is April 24-30.
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Activities such as minor baseball would not happen without the help of volunteers. (File Photo)

YORKTON - It might seem a tad repetitious to again be writing about volunteers, but their importance in making a collection of building more than a place on a map, and very much a community, should not be overlooked. 

That is why the annual National Volunteer Week is important. 

The week “is a time to recognize and thank volunteers in and around Yorkton, in Saskatchewan and in Canada for their time and energy, contributing to causes that benefit our communities,” said Lisa Washington, Manager of Community, Culture and Heritage with the City in a presentation at the most recent regular meeting of Yorkton Council.  

This year, during April 24 – 30, it is a celebration of the contributions of Canada&arsquo;s millions of volunteers: their actions, their understanding, and their genuine concern for the world around them. 

It is interesting that through the extended COVID pandemic most event volunteers are integral too; the summer fair, minor hockey, dance recitals, and so many others, were at best greatly curtailed and in many cases flat out cancelled, yet volunteers continued to find ways to help. 

Many people are simply happy to help out where they can, willing to take on tasks for the good of a greater community. 

That might mean coaching a minor hockey team, but if minor hockey is on hold, they might just as happily help deliver groceries to someone at home because they have health concerns which would be made far worse were they to be exposed to COVID-19. 

“Volunteering helps us develop empathy, to see the world through the eyes of others. Empathy is a quality where people can relate to others and build awareness around different experiences,” Washington told Council. 

“. . . Locally, volunteers in Yorkton mentor our children, support those feeling isolated, beautify our green spaces, and fundraise for our charitable organizations. Volunteers locally have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to support families, friends, neighbours, and strangers, people standing up to systemic racism, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society. Yorkton’s volunteers are individuals, families, workers, retirees, community members of all ages and backgrounds. Numerous sport, culture, recreation, health and social justice organizations in Yorkton rely on volunteers.”  

So as the week unfolds, starting Monday, it’s an excellent time to thank the volunteers you know, and they are all over our city doing all sorts of this to better our community. 

It will also be a good time to consider helping out as a volunteer if you do not help out now. There are always groups, organizations and events which can use extra hands, and it is only through the efforts of those in the community that we have all the activities to enjoy.

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