Volunteer support

It is sad to watch when a community service organization disbands.

It is sad to watch when a community service organization disbands.

Last week, the Women’s Opportunity Service Organization folded after 11 years.

Over the years, this organization has provided for the needs of Summerland. As a result of fundraising initiatives, it has contributed thousands of dollars to numerous groups within the community. It has also supplied $1,000 each year to an individual wanting to improve in a chosen field.

The absence of this organization will be felt throughout the community.

While the demise of the Women’s Opportunity Service Organization is tragic, the future of other community groups is uncertain.

A few decades ago, service organizations were much more active and had many more members, but over the years, membership lists have been declining.

Eventually, if the numbers are too small, a group has no choice but to fold. This was a factor in the demise of the Women’s Opportunity Service Organization.

It would be easy to attribute the declining numbers to apathy or a lack of volunteer spirit, but such a conclusion is not accurate.

There are many who will volunteer as coaches or sports league organizers, working with arts and culture groups, helping with the youth of our community or organizing festivals and special events.

The nature of volunteer work is changing, but the willingness to volunteer remains.

Still, without the long dedication of stalwart volunteers at organizations such as the Women’s Opportunity Service Organization, the fundraising necessary to help other worthwhile groups and organizations will be affected.

As a community, we need to address the declining membership in our service organizations and we need to find ways to respond.