By Mary Underhill
In every community there are those who are so good at finding things to complain about. Well, folks, I try very hard to not be one of them at least, most of the time! Let’s see if we can find some positive things about our wonderful valley.
For instance, our fire/rescue/ambulance services are top drawer. We’re so fortunate to have fire/rescue trainees here, providing additional personnel while they’re learning the ropes. That doesn’t happen everywhere, for sure! And the ambulance responds within ten minutes of a call, fully equipped and staffed for any type of medical emergency.
Then there’s the hospital. Small, yes, but exceptionally well staffed and equipped. Almost 20 years ago, the current manager fought tooth and nail to keep it open when the powers that be wanted to close it down and send everyone off to Trail or Cranbrook.
What a blessing it stayed open! The Mental Health section is one of the very best, and the staff has helped so many people get back on track.
Our police service is great – mostly down-to-earth people who do their very best to keep our valley safe and secure. Most people have no contact with the police service, but there’s a column in the paper each week detailing what went on the week before, so we can at least keep up to date.
How many other towns of our size in BC have Therapeutic Riding? Or an airport that has been incredibly developed over the past 20 years? Or a Community Complex with such diverse and professionally run programs? Or a college? Or a prize-winning Farmers’ Market? Or a really neat museum? And then there’s Valley Community Services with programs such as Better at Home which helps seniors of low income afford to have their grass cut, etc. (We are certainly grateful for that program!) And the Thunder Cats hockey team who shovel snow for those same seniors, free of charge. Our library is one of the best I’ve ever been in, with a great meeting room that is nearly always in use, and a delightful children’s room full of things we adults would just love to sit down and play and learn with. One of the few in BC (maybe Canada?) to work hand in hand with our local Lower Kootenay Band. We have a Ministerial Association, encompassing all the faiths in the Valley, I believe, who work together to provide for the needy, to put tremendous energy into the hamper program at Christmas, and to do so many other things for the community.
Are you all aware that the Gleaners One and Too organization donates its net income to non-profit groups at year end? Everyone truly needs to go to both sites to see how busy they are, and how dedicated the volunteers are. Someone complained to me a few years back that they saw a volunteer taking home a great pile of donated clothing for themselves – well, actually, the lady was taking them home to wash in her own machine and with her own detergent, to bring back clean for sale. That was before the washers and driers were installed on site.
We have an amazing office downtown in Kootenay Employment Services. Check them out for all that they do – courses, counseling, and much more. The staff there is efficient and knowledgeable, and have helped so many people get jobs, sort themselves out and do what they want to do, and how they are going to fund it. They’re just plain great.
I could go on for another two columns to praise all the other organizations and individuals in this valley, but there are limits to the number of column inches available. However, hopefully this tells us all what a wonderful, working-together community we live in, and why this is where we want to live out the rest of our lives. Bless you, Creston Valley and all those who make life here so very good.
If you have a complaint, turn it over and see the positive side of the person, thing or situation. There always is one.