Today’s blog post is a thank you to all those who volunteer either formally or informally. April 18-24, 2021 is National Volunteer Week. A quote from volunteer Canada expresses my thoughts so well. “The National Volunteer Week theme for 2021, The Value of One, The Power of Many, reflects on the awe-inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals AND the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose. This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbours, and strangers, people standing up to systemic racism, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society. We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together.”
As I said in an earlier post, our communities are so dependant on the volunteer work. While much of this is done through organized groups, there are hundreds of examples that are less formal but no less important. These run the range of those who volunteer in schools for breakfast programs, coaching, libraries, tutoring, music festivals, community or lake associations picking up garbage on the side of the road, volunteer drivers, food delivery, fire departments, recreation programs or buildings and many many more.
At the beginning of the pandemic I helped create a list of all roads in our geographic area and identifying volunteers who could help out if the need arose. I cannot recount how many times I spoke to a potential volunteer to explain what we were trying to achieve and was told: “we already do that, those are our neighbors and we check on them or pick up groceries or help them get to medical appointments. We lend a hand when we need to.” In rural NB we all know if a farmer has a health issue or problem, there are other farmers there to help out without anyone needing to organize anything. That is the nature of life in NB and epitomizes what volunteering is about.
Today my thanks goes to each and every person who takes time to lend a hand, extend kindness to another or stand beside someone who needs support.
One critical area in our communities I wanted to bring attention to is our food bank services. This past year has seen an uptake in services, many families and individual struggling to make ends meet or just struggling. Most food banks also offer many other services in our community. For all those who volunteer at these loations or donate in any manner, thank you. Below I have listed the key resources in our area of the Regional Health Authority.
- Making A Difference Food Bank (Perth-Andover, and surrounding communities)
- Keeper of the Light Food Bank (Plaster Rock)
- The Good Samaritan Food Bank ( Carleton-Victoria Community)
- Valley Food Bank (Woodstock and surrounding areas)
- Lakeland Resource Center (McAdam, and surrounding areas including Harvey)
- Oromocto Food Bank (Helpline Inc.)
- Village of Hope Food Bank (Upper Tracy)
- Greener Village Community Food Centre, Salvation Army Community Church Food Bank, Fredericton Community Kitchens Inc. (Fredericton)
- Countless school breakfast or backpack programs
For more info check out NB food banks locations and services