This week is Volunteers Week and it also marks the culmination of our Celebrating Our Volunteers campaign.
Over the past four weeks the Port Lincoln Times has highlighted a small number of the many local volunteer groups who make significant contributions to the community and the lives of the people they support.
While it is impossible to give all of the many volunteer organisations and individual volunteers the credit they deserve in a month-long campaign, the Times put the spotlight on people who give up their time for free to help young people get involved in sport, support young people with disabilities, provide more freedom for older people to live independently and welcome tourists to the region.
Of course there are many more volunteers across the region giving in many ways, big and small.
As this edition went to press CFS volunteers, pictured, were fighting a fire at Boston on the outskirts of Port Lincoln.
People (and the Port Lincoln silos) were also dressed in orange this week for Wear Orange to Work Day to show their support for State Emergency Service volunteers.
Regional communities are good at volunteering.
Most people seem to understand it’s an important part of being a community citizen to pitch in and do their bit.
The volunteers featured in the Times over the past few weeks had many reasons for choosing to volunteer – giving something back to their community, the people they meet, seeing the difference they make and being a role model for their children – and there are as many reasons to volunteer as there are volunteers.
Whatever their motivation, the economic contribution of volunteers cannot be ignored.
South Australian volunteers contribute about 1.76 million hours a week, which would cost serious dollars, even at the minimum wage.
To echo Volunteers Minister Zoe Bettison’s sentiments in her letter below, Volunteers Week is a great opportunity to do something we should do more often - find a volunteer and say thanks.
You won’t have to look far, they are everywhere.
It is also a good time for all of us to think about what we can do. As volunteer Cathy Sandland said, you don’t have to wait until you are older or retired.