ELLIOT LAKE—Each year Canadians set aside the third week in April to recognize the incredible contributions that volunteers make to the success of our nation. Many people are surprised to learn that the roots of Volunteer Week go all the way back to the year 1943 when it was instituted as a way to celebrate the contribution by women on the home front during World War II. During this week, Canadians reflect upon the outstanding impact that volunteers have on Canada’s many communities and the nation as a whole.
“Living here in the North we understand how isolation can limit some of our opportunities,” said Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha. “Northerners know that to eliminate such restrictions we just need to reach out and help one another in our communities. We have learned that we truly are our brother’s keeper.”
Across Canada every day volunteers lead neighbourhood programs, activities and do fundraising for special projects. Each voluntary act serves to collectively raise consciousness and confidence to solve common issues. Whether volunteers are teaching others to read, play soccer, brighten a shut-in’s day, repair a home or cleaning up a local streambed or park, the collective result not only lifts an individual’s spirit but that of other volunteers and the community as a whole.
“Volunteers may serve—but they are not servants,” said MPP Mantha. “Volunteers are partners working together to improve the future. As MPP I have learned that Algoma-Manitoulin is rich in resources, but our greatest resource is our people.”
National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize everything volunteers bring to Canada and most importantly, to say thank you. But the greatest way to say thank you is to get involved yourself.