To the editor;
Volunteers are busy.
There are over 53 different groups in Barriere that are all run by volunteers.
If each group averaged 10 people that would make 530 volunteers.
Add in another 50 for the groups that have more than 10, and its 580.
Now add in the parents who help out at the schools, parents who take turns helping out/driving kids to ball and track and field events, so maybe another 50; now it’s up to 630 volunteers.
We can add in the seniors who make the crafts for their craft sale, the quilters group, and the people who work to help with hot dog sales, bazaars, and fundraisers: so about another 50, up to 680.
Now I figure most of these volunteers average about 50 hours a year volunteering (even just attending one meeting a month) so 680 x 50 = 34,000 hours.
Now, about 100 of these people put in about 600 hours a year; so another 60,000, for a total of 94,000 hours. a year.
Actual events take more time than you think. The North Thompson Fall Fair weekend takes about 100 people 100 hours each; equalling a total of 10,000 hours.
The McLure Wildfire Monument Society event, the Harvest Festival, the Celebration of the Arts, and other area events take 40 people 100 hours for another 4,000 hours.
Now, for all the people and hours I missed (I apologize) I’m going to add 2,000 more hours.
This brings the total to 110,000 volunteer hours a year.
I know of five people who volunteer at least 1,000 hours a year (that’s only three hours a day) for 5,000 more hours.
My world is kind of small so I assume there are at least 20 more people in town that volunteer 1,000 hours, for 20,000 more hours.
New total: 135,000 hours of volunteer time a year in Barriere.
The government values volunteer hours at $10/hr. That means these dedicated people give Barriere $1,350,000 of free labour and time every year.
Obviously, I have had some fun with these figures; and some will say to divide it in half or more, but others will agree and say it should be more.
So remember, next time you hear someone say they can’t find someone to volunteer for their project, you can tell them it’s because everyone is already busy!
North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre