The Importance of Volunteering

Calgary West

As we approach the winter season, it is always a good time to consider the thoughtful contributions of community volunteers—those individuals who work hard to give back to the community around us.

No matter how you volunteer, whether it be on a community association board, for your children’s school parent council, for a charity like the Mustard Seed, or for a cause that you care about, your time and energy is very valuable and helps to improve the lives of those around us all. Statistics Canada surveyed Canadians in 2010 to better understand volunteering and found that 1 in 2 Canadians aged fifteen or older volunteered at least once that year, and collectively we volunteered more than 2 billion hours. That is roughly equivalent to 1 million full time volunteer jobs!

Volunteering doesn’t have to be formal or flashy—it can be as simple as shoveling the driveway of an elderly neighbour or picking up your friend’s kids from school. The number of unreported acts of volunteerism in our community is enormous. It’s a great way to stay healthy, make new connections, and have fun!

It’s also never too early to start volunteering or take your children with you. Helping our young people understand the idea of giving back to those less fortunate than us, or just to a cause they care about is a very valuable thing to teach!

There are many volunteer organizations. I encourage you to make your new years resolution to give back some time where you can!

Mike Ellis, MLA