Paying volunteers defeats the purpose of volunteering

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To the Editor:

To volunteer is “to offer to give or do,” according to my Funk & Wagnalls dictionary. The Creston Valley is renowned as having one of the largest numbers of volunteers per capita in the province.

And now someone has decided that volunteers at one of our non-profit establishment should be paid! Volunteering comes from the heart, not the wallet.

Both Harry and I have given thousands of volunteers hours during our lifetimes (and still give freely of whatever talents and time that we have) without a single thought of payment, other than the warm glow we feel from helping others, both two-legged and four.

Most non-profit organizations recognize their volunteers in one way or another — thank you display ads in the Advance, thank you dinners for all volunteers two or three times a year, and/or a personal thank you for the “extras” for which volunteers are well known.

Has this individual thought of the negative results of paying volunteers? This would mean losing the incentive of giving and replacing it with paying income tax and all the other deductions of an employee. Who would pick up the tab? The town? Probably. The province? Highly unlikely! But an even more important result would be taking away the joy and love of giving of ourselves to our community.

Money has become increasingly important — the ads that say “all you want” not need, the crimes worldwide that are committed to line the pockets of the criminals. Are we really going to add to these with paying volunteers? Remember, my friends, that “the root of all evil is the love of money.” Nuff said!

Mary Underhill


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