Thanking volunteers

Someone once observed, “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.”

Those may not be my words, but they certainly express my sentiments.

Every year, during National Volunteer Week, the Ontario Trillium Foundation makes a special point of celebrating volunteers for the tremendous difference they make to the organizations and the communities they serve.

As chairman of one of Canada’s leading grantmaking foundations, I feel strongly about the importance of volunteers. OTF’s board of directors and our 16 grant review teams – more than 300 people in total – show remarkable dedication to ser­ving their communities across the province.

Volunteer time is unpaid time, and that makes it especially valuable.

I thank the foundation’s Grant Review Team in Waterloo, Wellington, and Dufferin for its continued hard work and dedication under the skilled leadership of chairman Donald Bourgeois.

It’s reassuring that there are so many others also giving their time and talents to the community. Last year, in the Waterloo, Wellington and Dufferin areas alone, more than 13,200 volunteers contributed more than 207,600 hours of their time to support organizations that received funding from our foundation. If we translate their efforts into value, it comes to more than $3.5-million of giving.

All of us are touched and enriched by the work of volunteers, whether we volunteer ourselves or benefit in some way from the volunteer work of others.

So take a moment during National Volunteer Week, April 27 to May 3, to thank volunteers for generously donating their time, talents and passion to countless causes across the province. Thanks to their commitment, our communities and our province are better places to live.