Be it Communities in Bloom sprucing up the neighbourhood, the Cornfest committee putting the final touches on its annual free celebration, Taber Cares forming to help raise tens of thousands of dollars for southern Alberta flood victims, the Foodgrains initiative starting up this week, the Tango movement dancing their way to help Fiji, or coaches and football board members helping kids get on the gridiron to prepare for the fall — people are doing their part to make this town a better place.
No contract disputes, no grumbling of ‘I don’t have the time’ or clashing of personalities — simply one common goal unites all causes like these — to help those in need.
A need for a nicer looking community, a need for support when Mother Nature takes a turn for the worst, a need for a fun time for family, a need to feed an impoverished world, a need that has no country boundary, or a need to provide recreational opportunities to youth.
Seeing controversy after controversy fill the headlines makes one question if people are doing things for the right reasons like the Senate spending scandal probe with outrageous expense claims — the things Taberites have been doing in recent days brings welcome relief, in showing what the human race can be capable of in their more shining moments.
The world would certainly be a darker — and more expensive place if everyone was of the attitude of only doing something if it only benefitted themselves.
A recent North American study in 2012 showed if you were to put a monetary value to volunteer time, it would be approximately $22.14 per hour if that volunteer time were to be applied to the real working world.
Could you imagine if that principal was attached to organizing Cornfest, running the Taber Cares Flood Fundraiser or paying coaches to run a team for a community or school-based sport.
Cornfest would certainly not be one of the largest free festivals in North America, you would have taken a net loss for the flood fundraiser and registration fees for youth sports would go through the roof.
So while these selfless actions continue to go on in the community from January to December, we must be ever vigilant to not take this volunteering spirit for granted.
Phone up a committee member for a fundraiser with a quick thank you message, shake the hand of a Cornfest committee member at Confederation Park on the weekend and ease up on the yelling at the coach of your kid’s favourite sport.
For whatever the activity a volunteer does, they are doing it for something greater than themselves — the greater good.
With how seamless things can go on a year-by-year basis with common activities volunteers do, it can be human nature to take those things for granted. We should be vigilant that never happens.