MLA Report: Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Don MacIntyre
Whether they’re standing with a ready smile and warm welcome as the blistering sun shines down, or the bitter winter wind swirls around, they’re there for you—that’s the heart of a volunteer on display. They’re the ones who go out of their way into the care centres and hospitals to bring that bit of cheer and connection to the lonely and overlooked. Volunteers are those who go that extra mile to make sure the job is done, and done well. They are the ones behind the scenes who get there early and go home late from events. Volunteers are there making sure fundraisers start well and end better. And they do it with a willing heart, and ready smile.
Let me share a few stats with you about some of these dedicated volunteers. In our country, about 1 in 2 Canadians will or have volunteered their time in some way. On a yearly basis, approximately 47% of Canadians are actively volunteering in a formal capacity. That’s about 16.2 million people across Canada. They contribute approximately 2 billion volunteer hours which is equivalent to more than 1 million full-time jobs. And this isn’t counting direct volunteering, helping out friends and family with their projects.
With direct volunteering, four out of five Canadians (about 83%) are helping each other out. That means 29.2 million Canadians are serving each other on a daily basis with errands, health-related or personal care issues and the like.
These numbers are incredible. We are part of a country where we are all here for each other. In the hard times, in the good times, we are willing to help when it doesn’t reflect on our pocket book. And that is something to be very proud of.
Being motivated to contribute to communities, wanting to make good use of skills and experience, being personally affected by the causes organizations support, holding fast to spiritual beliefs and simply because friends are involved, are reasons listed on the stats Canada website as to why volunteers do what they do. Whatever the reason, great or small, it is a valuable one when it leads to action.
If you have been a volunteer this last year, I want to personally thank you for the time and effort you set aside to serve. Behind the scenes, or at the forefront, your contribution is priceless. It was well done and greatly appreciated.
Don MacIntyre, MLA
#2, 160 Hewlett Park Landing
Sylvan Lake, AB, T4S 2J3