To the Editor,
I write this not to dwell on the past, but to help share a thought on what Minden Hills might do differently to re-engage volunteers across the municipality.
My family and I had always jumped in to volunteer, we always looked forward to certain events and we felt better connected to the community by volunteering. But then the municipality around 2010 implemented a formal advisory committee that led to all sorts of unnecessary problems and unfortunate power struggles for our hometown.
And now we read about the lack of people volunteering, while at the same time, we ourselves are missing volunteering. Yet let’s be clear we would never ever in a million years give our time and effort to volunteer for a formal advisory committee ever again.
Our two children were both young when we did do a lot of volunteering, and now they are young adults, and I truly hope that they can learn for themselves the self-reward and special connection a person feels when volunteering for their community. Minden Hills should consider making it easy for people to volunteer. There are a lot of individuals who want to make a difference by volunteering. Simply let them. Do not force them into joining formal advisory committees.
Prior to these formal advisory committees many different individuals would step up to host a community event (baseball game, barbecue, picnic) or fundraiser (hockey pool, raffle, bake sale) and they would get support, and they would make a difference, and they would feel that extra special connection to their community. It was fun and it was even a little competitive as it would challenge others in the community to get involved as well in their own way so there was always something going on or being planned, and by all corners of the entire community. I do not see that anymore, as the municipality and their advisory committee has taken the control and the desire away from the rest of the community.
How about returning to a community driven process. That way if a family wanted to hold an October bake sale to support the community centre, they could. Or if a local gardener wanted to donate some flowers for a community centre garden, they could. Or if a high school student needed community hours and could cut the grass, they could. Taking us back to a place where everyone can get involved and help out when and how they can. Make volunteering easy and all of Minden Hills will benefit.