To those who make a difference

As an elected official we are always asked to do more with less.

Upon my return from the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention this September, I took the time to read the issues of the Nelson Star that had accumulated at our back door.

To my shock and sorrow the Friday, September 28 issue contained the obituary of Alie Jonker, a friend and associate who I had the pleasure of working with for the past two years. Ali was the epitome of a selfless volunteer that enriched the lives of not only the people who knew her but also the community she called home. As chair of the Advisory Planning Committee, she guided the Area F Official Community Plan until its adoption by the Board in January of this year. Her untimely passing gave me pause to reflect on the impact that volunteers have on our community.

The next time you go to a youth sporting event, observe a fire engine racing to a house fire with lights flashing, watch a Christmas concert, go for a walk on the lakeside walking paths, watch your child play in the Gyro Park pool or the Lion’s water park, skate on the Lion’s Park outdoor rink, enjoy our many hiking trails and downhill biking paths, turn your tap on (rural) or take yourself or someone you love to the new emergency ward for a CT scan, THINK of what makes all these things possible: VOLUNTEERS.

The last four years on the regional district board as director of Area F have opened my eyes to what makes this community a great place to live. It is the selfless commitment by a large number of dedicated individuals that want to make a difference by providing their time, enthusiasm, expertise and sometimes their lives, to enhance the community in which they live.

As an elected official we are always asked to do more with less. We therefore lean heavily on volunteers to fulfill the wishes of the electorate.

Without them we could not afford the services that we have come to take for granted.

What’s in it for them? They get very little thanks or recognition for what they do. Not only do they not receive remuneration but often take leave without pay or pay their own expenses when attending events or training (to make them “better” volunteers) workshops. Even though I have done some volunteering myself, the answer to this question remains somewhat of a mystery. Perhaps it lies in the saying that the best cure for depression is crossing the street to help someone less fortunate — it works!

Some people can’t find the time it takes to commit to a project. Some people lack the confidence to be part of a service club or charitable organization, but we can all make a difference, even if it’s helping an elderly neighbor shovel snow this winter. It’s all important.

So to all of you who strive to serve your neighbors and/or your community, and especially to Alie, here’s a big THANK YOU on behalf of Area F.

 

Ron Mickel is the Area F director for the Regional District of Central Kootenay

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

Whitewater offering ski program for people with cognitive impairments

Discounted tickets for skiers and chaperones, as well as lessons, are available

Breanna Faulkner, Kootenay Swim Club win at Kelowna Snowfest

Faulker won four medals, including two gold

Calendars for a cause: Linocut calendars raise funds for Kalein Centre

The last few calendars and cards are available at Cowan’s Office Supplies and Zinnia Textiles

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read