This week we are celebrating volunteers.
We want to highlight those that are volunteering in the foothills, those who do it to feel good, to feel closer to their community or simply because it needs to get done.
Marianne Reynolds is a lifelong volunteer and has been at Mission Thrift store in Okotoks since 2019. How did she get started and what are some of the reasons why she keeps doing it?
Having grown up in rural Saskatchewan, she was no stranger to giving. It was just something you did in these small towns regardless of how much you made or your social status.
"Back in the 60s and 70s we were fairly poor, but as most people say ‘we didn't realize we were poor,’ but we always helped. We helped out at weddings and we helped out at the Community suppers and curling and ball and sports days. Then as I grew up and moved to the city there were other things to get in."
She's been an active supporter in every community she's been a part of since then. Camrose, Calgary and now Okotoks. She sees volunteering as a win-win situation.
"I volunteer to spruce meadows. OK, I love horses, they also give you a shirt and they feed you and you know that was fun. But also I helped them out."
It's also her social circle.
"Volunteering was my social network. All my friends are there. I've got to go see them if I don't go, at least once a week it hurts. It becomes addicting."
She's seen the value in volunteers every day having worked with so many over the years. All of them volunteer for different reasons but there are always a few main ones that stand out.
"The number one thing is, volunteers don't get paid, so that has a big impact on the business or the organization that we're helping. Then, of course, we're giving back to people that need help, so we're benefiting the organization or the corporation that we're volunteering for. But also It's kind of selfish, we get that self-satisfaction in helping people and it just becomes almost like a job."
All week we will be highlighting volunteers throughout the foothills. Additionally, there are several events honouring volunteers in our communities. If you know any volunteers in your social circle or workplace, take time this week to thank them.