April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week, a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers. Volunteers strengthen our communities and make our country vibrant. The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, calls Canada “a smart and caring nation.” It’s our dedication to community involvement that has given us that reputation at home and around the globe. (www.volunteer.ca)
I can’t help but feel emotional when I think of the impact being made by those 13.3 MILLION people. Can you believe that number?!? Every day, these people do the work that makes our country strong. No matter the task, every volunteer in our country is contributing to a positive ripple effect of community, compassion and love. Every one of these people has helped someone, with a kind word or a home-cooked meal, a ride to cancer treatments or the teaching of a new skill.
At SONG we are proud and humbled to work with approximately 30 volunteers who do everything from supervising rehearsals to organizing concerts to designing our website. People like Barb Henderson, our Board President. Barb spends hours each week attending rehearsals and supervising the kids because she loves to see their progress and the happiness on their faces when they are singing. She is a tireless advocate for our program, spreading the word to everyone she meets and going out into the community as a passionate voice for the work SONG is doing. And Barb gets her hands dirty with any and every task that needs doing. She will make photocopies, do crafts with the kids, make snacks, and haul bucket drums; whatever we need, Barb does.
And people like Heather Stubbs. Heather is a local singer and pianist who attended our open rehearsals in the fall to see what the program was all about. When she saw Marie directing the rehearsal and playing the piano at the same time she thought “that is craziness!” Within the week, she had volunteered to be our rehearsal pianist. Heather plays for the SONG choirs 3 days per week, rehearses countless hours in preparation, and always comes to rehearsals full of energy and excitement. The kids of SONG love Heather, and Marie and I thank our lucky stars that she appeared almost out of the blue to help. Heather once told me “I have done some good things in my life, but I think this might be the best.” Volunteers like that are worth more than words can express.
I want to thank all the people who have given SONG so much of their time, energy and talent, all in the name of helping a cause they believe in. Because of the dedication of this growing community of supporters, SONG has given the gift of music to 50 children this year. And with their help, there is no stopping us!
Mary Liz Clark
– posted by Shannon