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Volunteers are the cheer in Summer Games spirit

Posted on July 11, 2013 by Taber Times

Cheering on Southern Alberta Summer Games (SASG) athletes is applauded but without the generous support and hard work of volunteers during preparations for the Summer Games and throughout the competitions — the Summer Games would not go on. It is important to cheer, perhaps even give a standing ovation, to the numerous volunteers who put in countless hours of personal time to make sure the Summer Games took off without a hitch.

Volunteers are indeed the backbone of many an event and an integral part of organizations, big or small. SASG is indebted to the contributions of grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, teens and children — working towards one common goal — to make the Summer Games a success and put Taber on the map as a community with volunteer gumption, know how and deep down true grit. Without the volunteer aspect of the Summer Games, the Summer Games would be dead in the water, so to speak — in Taber, or whichever community hosts the Summer Games, for that matter.

A question, no doubt, is asked of oneself before committing to a volunteer act — to volunteer or not to volunteer? That is the question. Or some might just step up to the plate, no questions asked, getting right to bat and hitting a home run to help out a worthy cause or support an event. Any way you slice it, volunteerism is alive and well in Alberta. One only has to take a look towards the flood rescue efforts in Calgary, Lethbridge, High River and Medicine Hat to see feats of heroism without fanfare. Individuals risked life and limb to save those in dire need and most would do it again, if duty called.

But why do we do it? Why do we volunteer? Does it serve a purpose? Or do we do it because we can, and it’s an honourable thing to do?

Most people tend to volunteer to assist those needing help the most. Some people volunteer to assist a group or organization they may belong to. Others volunteer to be of service to the community. And volunteers volunteer because it feels good to see smiles on the faces of those being helped. It’s quite simple, really.

Volunteers are humble, giving, dedicated, caring and hard-working. They offer support, even if it may be an inconvenience from time to time. They’re there when the going gets tough and the tough that get going, are volunteers.

In today’s day and age it is difficult to fathom a world without heroes — the volunteer(s). A self-less individual who puts others’ needs before their own. An individual who wakes up early and goes to bed late while volunteering. Someone in dire need of a break but instead goes the distance and helps out yet another person or continues a task not yet completed.

Without volunteers so many important and special events would be in jeopardy of not being held or postponed. Events such as fundraising walks and runs, celebrations including Canada Day and Cornfest, pancake breakfasts or barbecues for charity and/or a child’s organized sporting activity.

Take a long hard look at the face of a volunteer. Volunteers smile, volunteers shine and volunteers are happy to help without payback. They simply do it because they want to and that’s a powerful thing.

Next time you see a volunteer helping out at a community event pat him/her on the back for a job well done and say thanks. Sometimes a volunteer goes without praise or a simple thank you.

So thank you volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are greatly appreciated. Always.

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