Paying it Forward

I spent a few days last week with a friend who writes a column for Sun Media, we talked about his editorial calendar and what he does to come up with his topics.  As his column will mostly focus on Ontario politics it is a simple task to come up with his weekly column.  He added though that the columns that give him the biggest satisfaction are the one that recognize those that perform heroic duties or give back to their communities with little expectation or want of payback.

I have written in the past of a generous Ottawa, it is time for a follow up

I recently was profiled by Debby Simms for the work that I am doing in the community and hoping to accomplish through my political affiliations.  Through Debby’s post in her blog found here I have been able to connect with others that believe as I do in community and political activities.    I believe strongly in the ‘what goes around comes around’ theory and I also that we should celebrate and pay forward those that do terrific work in our cities, communities and neighbourhoods.  In Ontario over 800 Million volunteer hours are completed by 5 million Ontarians annually, equally over 400k full-time positions!

Christine Taylor of Ottawa was recently named as a recipient of one of 18 June Callwood Awards in 2012 to deserving individuals and organizations in Ontario for their volunteerism.

Christine was given the award for her seemingly limitless energy in organizing volunteers in the Ottawa area to completing over 4000 hours of volunteer community work through her Year to give campaign ( where she, as her Twitter profile (@Year2Give) writes “ My goal is to see what impact one person can have and on how many”.

Another Eastern Ontario recipient of the June Callwood Award for 2012 was William (Bill) Countryman of Prescott.  He has been a volunteer with the local fire department for almost 60 years. As truck captain, he is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 365 days of the year. Added up, Bill has given more than half a million hours towards keeping the people of Prescott safe from fires.

For the entire list click here

There are many ways to recognize the contributions of your friends, neighbours and colleagues for the hours they pour into their communities.  In Ontario there are many Honours and Awards presented, they are found here  In Ottawa Volunteers and community contributors are recognized through the City of Ottawa Civic Appreciation Awards nominations placed through this link on the City of Ottawa website  For my readers outside of Ottawa or Ontario search for ways you can recognize the work of others in your community.

I hope this inspires you to give time and energy to your community.  In Ottawa, Volunteer Ottawa has a volunteer bank of opportunities found here

If you are searching for that perfect way to recognize a volunteer, it may be a simple as saying “Thank you”.

To Christine, Bill and to everyone that volunteers…”Thank you”.

I can be found Twitter @robertdekker and on Facebook at Please follow me and send your thoughts on this and other postings.


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