Reflections of Ponoka: Volunteers perform extraordinary miracles

Over the years, I can say with extreme sincerity that having had the opportunity of being a volunteer has been

The Amigos perform their fun and song every Friday afternoon and at many other special events throughout the year at the Centennial Centre in Ponoka. Shown from left to right are: Helmut

The Amigos perform their fun and song every Friday afternoon and at many other special events throughout the year at the Centennial Centre in Ponoka. Shown from left to right are: Helmut

Over the years, I can say with extreme sincerity that having had the opportunity of being a volunteer has been among the greatest experiences of my lifetime. As we celebrate Canadian Volunteer Week from April 6-13, it is a great occasion to salute and show our appreciation to the some 13.3 million ordinary people who love to do extraordinary things for so many others in and around our communities.

The ongoing acknowledgement of Canadian Volunteer Week began way back in 1943, but for countless decades, enthusiastic individuals, groups, clubs, organizations churches, schools, teams, businesses, and communities have greatly benefited from the dedication and supreme efforts of volunteers from all age groups and all walks of life. As well as the heartfelt appreciation of those who have been assisted by a volunteer, there have also been so many special causes and fundraising events that have been successful because of the strong support of their volunteers. Our town and district volunteers strive to find so many exciting and imaginative ways to engage in their communities, and these amazing efforts all benefit thousands of citizens year round and leave a legacy that will continue on for generations.

The perks of being a volunteer

● Creates great relationships, not only with those they serve, but with fellow volunteers…because together, we can all make a difference.

● Volunteers have the unique opportunity to teach each other to share and care, while learning along the way that comforting others when they need it the most is the greatest reward.

● Volunteers quickly realize that being hospitable and helping others is the perfect formula for achieving their goals, while having fun and creating smiles and laughter in the process.

● Their willing participation in so many special programs is vitally important to all aspects of our active family friendly community.

● Volunteers will become leaders now, and greatly benefit from that quality in the future.

● Volunteers are cheerful and happy individuals who are also often referred to as angels.

● Volunteers strive each and every day to be very generous with their care, understanding, and sincere compassion of others.

● No matter how busy the task might be Volunteers are well known for their happy faces, and for the amazing joy and smiles that they create amongst those they serve.

● Volunteers always rely on team work to get the job done, and then willingly share and celebrate the successes with everyone.

● Volunteers have a special gift of being able to cheer up and comfort so many people in so many wonderful ways when they visit our hospital or care centres.

● Volunteers have many faces, from the age of 12 to our hardy seniors, and love to bring along their favourite pets, musical, or magic talents, just to make someone happy.

There are already hundreds of volunteers giving it their best in and around Ponoka throughout the year, and with so many opportunities available to lend a hand from the heart. For those individuals or groups who are interested in taking part in an amazing program, they will always be given a casual choice of the time, place, and activity which they would like to join in on.

The Alberta Health Services hosts a very active volunteer program at both the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre and the Centennial Centre for Mental Health and Brain injury. Those wishing to join the team or receive more information are welcome to get in touch with Leanne at 403-704-8312 or Janice at 403-783-7782.

Volunteer appreciation

Each and every one of our community volunteers are very much appreciated, and along with National Volunteer Week, there are many other special annual events hosted to proudly toast the participants and the programs. Some of these include: The Rita Scott Volunteer Award, the Morna Chorney Heart and Soul Award, the Leaders of Tomorrow Youth Awards, and on the on. A special feature of the 2014 NVW celebration is the opportunity to make a personal phone call to thank volunteers from in and around the community. The number to call is 1-855-372-5007 and the lines are open until April 12th.