First of all, hats off the to volunteers of the Prince Rupert Special Events Society and those in the community who helped contribute to another successful Children’s Festival.
The smile on the faces of the kids as they tried out the different activities is a sure sign of success, and the fact that this festival marked its 20th year is a testament to the community spirit of people in Prince Rupert – particularly when you consider this is just one of numerous festivals that takes place here throughout the year.
But there was something else I noticed at the event that was a bit of a downer amongst all of the joy and happiness being experienced – and that was the fact that a lot of the volunteers were very familiar faces and people who have been volunteering and organizing events in the communities for years on end.
While it’s great to see that level of commitment to the community and to making the quality of life in Prince Rupert the best it can be, what’s concerning is the lack of new faces. It’s the same thing at a lot of community events hosted by volunteer groups.
The problem becomes, quite bluntly, volunteer burnout – the same people can’t sustain that level of volunteerism year in and year out without wanting to take a step back and move more into the background if possible.
If there is nobody to step up and fill in for those people who need a rest, the rest becomes a hiatus and if that happens too often you no longer have the volunteer resources needed to carry on the events that we all know and love in Prince Rupert.
Volunteering, while often a thankless job, is a great experience and a great way to give back to the community that we all call home. Whether Special Events, Rotary, the Elks, the Lions, Civic Pride or any other number of groups, the uniting factor is people who care about the community giving of their time to the benefit of others. As someone who has been in Rotary for the past four and a half years and who will be club president next year, I can tell you it is a very rewarding experience.
So I encourage you to find something you love and find a way to get involved and lend your time and talents.