There is a question that many volunteers ask themselves–Do I volunteer to help others or do I volunteer because it feels so good? I truly believe it is part of column A and part of column B. So what is a volunteer? The dictionary defines a volunteer as “a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task.” Or “freely offer to do something.”
There is an amazing number of volunteers in our community that have provided millions of dollars in manpower to our community and others around the world. Their sacrifice of personal time and resources allow children and adults alike to have a place to play sports, to be part of an organisation such as cadets, scouts, guides, senior groups to name a few. They give us a place where to enjoy outdoor activities that may not be available if not for volunteers, and many other great things that are available in the Cornwall area.
Volunteers bring community events to our area. They flood the rinks so we have a place to skate, they pick up trash from the roadsides, they cook meals to raise funds to help others, they collect toys to ensure everybody has something under the tree at Christmas. They are directly involved in so many activities. It would be an extensive list to mention them all.
Many of us that have been involved in the volunteer community for a long time get our pictures in the paper or on social media on a regular basis but what about the folks that are out there every event, slugging away in the trenches but never get the recognition they deserve.
For many years I was lucky to volunteer alongside Walter Wheeler. Walter was that guy that showed up to every event. You never had to wonder if he would show up at the motorcycle run to raise money for a good cause or whether he was going to help you get the job done because it was automatic. He was always there and somehow I’m not sure we thanked him properly. Walter is no longer with us but I often wonder if he knew he made a difference.
There are a lot of people who make a difference, but you will never see them standing out from the crowd. They are usually standing in the back row of the photo if they are in the picture at all when we do events. I am hoping to recognise some of these unsung community heroes in this article in each edition.
People like Eugene Desrosiers.
Gene is a member of the Optimist Club of Cornwall and has been a driving force behind the Youth Bowling YBC for over 30 years as well as being involved with Boy Scouts. Gene never hesitates when things need to be picked up for a barbeque or to offer a hand to set up or tear down at an event.
Another great volunteer is Roger Sampson.
Roger is a member of the Kinsmen Club of Cornwall. He takes care of the club’s website but most people do not know that. They just know it is always there. Roger is another volunteer that is there when you need them. Whether it is helping a friend clean out a house after a flood or coming to the Armories on set up day for the Children’s Christmas Fund distribution, you can count on him. Roger helps drag the skids of food out of the trucks and helps to set up.
Without volunteers like these find outstanding individuals, events would not happen so I say thank you to them and if you see them don’t be shy to acknowledge what they do. Until next time stay safe and if you have a little time to give don’t be shy to contact a service club or organization to offer a hand.