In the past week, and this is only a rough “guesstimate” having not taken a tally, at least a dozen volunteers walked through the doors here at the Advertiser.
At least a dozen individuals who didn’t look to us for praise or thanks for their work, who didn’t point out their effort and dedication, and didn’t ask us to join, to help, to care or to believe.
And walking through the streets of Grand Falls-Windsor, you’d be hard-pressed to find a home without someone inside who hasn’t given some of their time, money or effort, in some small way, to make this town a better place.
In the past week alone – we met a young girl who thrives on fundraising to help others, including unwanted pets and sick children. Countless sports enthusiasts (yes, just in the last week alone) that teach our young people the value of health, sportsmanship, and the love of the game.
A husband and wife duo that has volunteered the majority of their lives, right down to a volunteer who has spent endless hours in her church, working with choirs, for years.
They do it because they love it, because they can, because the town relies on them, and because we just couldn’t do it without them!
Volunteers. The salt of the earth.
And the Exploits Valley is filled with them.
Folks who slave over stove tops and ovens to prepare food for others, or bagged clothes to keep their neighbors warm. Then there are the folks who have conquered that summer-long journey of a cross-country trek so others may have the basics.
Recognizing them all would be endless – and each task as important as the next – from laying their lives on the line to helping stock shelves at the food bank.
We don’t take the time to thank them enough.
Thank you to the volunteer firefighters, the teacher sponsors, the “lunch ladies” and the service groups. Thank you to the math tutors, the SPCA volunteers, the not-for-profit groups and the search and rescue co-ordinators. And thank you to the musicians – what local musician hasn’t volunteered their talent for the cause!
From one end of the spectrum to the other, the service, the care and the necessities you provide on a daily basis is second to none, and worth standing up and applauding.
You’ve helped the cold stay warm, the victim overcome, the left-out feel welcome, the hungry find food, and you’ve made the rest of us feel privileged to know you all.
You’ve inspired our children, developed our athletes and built trust in our seniors.
There are 500,000 people in Newfoundland and Labrador – and 197,000 of them are registered volunteers.
On our tiny rock in our corner of the world – each year – we offer up 35-million hours of volunteer work.
The Advertiser staff wants to dedicate this special edition to each and every one of you.
Renell LeGrow, Editor