This summer marked the return of many summer fairs and festivals, and it marked the return of many volunteers.
Carla Campbell is active on several planning committees, including Summer in the City.
“These events don't happen without volunteer power,” she says. “And we're not able to give as much as we do without the volunteers that give their time to make these events happen.”
Campbell says she really enjoys connecting with people and working together on community events. So, she has truly enjoyed the many summer activities and appreciates each person who has contributed in any way.
One of the things she continues to contemplate is showing appreciation to volunteers, wondering if there are specific ways to make sure each person knows they are valued.
And with the start of a new school year that has minimal to no restrictions, Hanover School Board Chair Ron Falk says it is great to welcome parent volunteers back into the schools.
“Volunteers help out in so many ways,” he says. “Whether it's helping one-on-one with students, helping the teacher in the classroom, helping on field trips, and hopefully we can do more of those again.”
Both Campbell and Falk admit that it takes time and effort to get people back into the mindset of volunteering, adding that volunteers make a positive impact in our communities. Campbell encourages people to consider volunteering and notes there are many options throughout the Southeast.
Charlene Kroeker at Steinbach Community Outreach says volunteers are critical to their organization.
“We have a number of volunteers who are our regulars, and we absolutely love them,” she says. “We could not do what we do without a volunteer base, and we really appreciate them.”
Kroeker says the outreach program can always use more people to help with various tasks and she encourages anyone who is interested to get involved in whatever capacity they can.
Audrey Harder at the Pat Porter Active Living Centre says they cannot operate without the support of volunteers.
“Hours put together in all of our programs, we have about five to six full time employee hours of just volunteer time,” she says.
Harder is pleased to see their volunteer base growing as people become more comfortable with the lifting of pandemic restrictions.