National Volunteer Week an ideal time to say thanks

Oak Bay volunteers critical to building community

Each Christmas a volunteer tickles the ivories at Shannon Oaks while others in their golden years gift wrap packages for peers.

As spring perks in Oak Bay parks, school children pull prickles to enhance our natural environment.

They’re just two examples of year-round work that might never get done with out the help of volunteers. They build homes for the homeless, help out in schools and hospitals, clean garbage off beaches, coach sports, you name it. Then there are the volunteers who contribute their time to make sure community events go off without a hitch. Their work is an extension of being a good neighbour and so much more – volunteerism is fundamental part of community.

Next week is National Volunteer Week in Canada, a chance to recognize the important role of volunteers in our communities.

Stats Canada’s 2013 Spotlight on Canadians shows 12.7 million Canadians, or 44 per cent of people aged 15 and older, participated in some form of volunteer work in 2013. A total 49 per cent of those in the province volunteered an average of 148 hours per year.

Oak Bay Volunteer Services, which provides direct services to Oak Bay residents of all ages on a one-to-one basis, celebrates 40 years of volunteer work this year.

OBVS recognizes its long-time volunteers with an awards luncheon in late spring, early summer. The Monterey centre recognizes its volunteers with an evening event May 3.

Ahead of those events, let us the public take the opportunity next week to thank volunteers for all that they do to make our communities better places to live.