Even though there’s no remuneration for volunteers, Carol Young finds the work to be a reciprocal endeavour.
Five years ago, she and her husband Dale moved to Oliver from Edmonton for retirement in a warmer climate. Not knowing very many people, they both began volunteering to get involved with the community. Now, Carol is one of the helpers at the Oliver Thrift Shop and Dale volunteers at the Oliver Legion.
“It’s a good way to socialize and get to know what’s going on in the community,” she said.
Carol was mingling with many other local helpers recently at the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Oliver Parks and Recreation held the event to thank her and dozens of other volunteers over a delicious meal with wine at the Oliver Community Centre.
“It’s very nice that Parks and Rec put something like this on for volunteers,” she said. “By giving back to us it makes us want to do more.”
Dale was unable to attend the luncheon because ironically, he was volunteering at the time, preparing a Friday night dinner at the Legion.
Despite being told that she should spend her “golden years” relaxing, Carol says she volunteers because she’s not ready to unbutton yet.
“Well I can’t sit still for one thing.”
And unlike a job, volunteers don’t have stern bosses or onerous schedules.
“Also as a volunteer you can never get fired.”
In addition to the customers she helps out at the thrift shop, Carol’s efforts are also a benefit to the local hospital.
“We do a lot of fundraising and it feels good to give back to the community,” she said. “As I get older, the thing we really wanted here is to make sure we have medical facilities. That’s the most important thing to seniors – that’s why I work at the thrift store. All the money raised there goes towards equipment in the hospital; additional funds that our province can’t supply.”
By Dan Walton