When the voting is over

Posted 04.03.13

SHAWVILLE, QUEBEC | Everyone's talking about the Quebec election slated for Monday, April 7, 2014. So many opinions, and so many highly charged with emotion.

But if we really want to help ourselves, the future for ourselves and our kids, we have to do it ourselves. And that means more than voting.

It's wonderful for our town to have help, to get financing, for new sidewalks and so on from various agencies, but in the end it starts with us -- generating the ideas, identifying our needs and ambitions for the future of our community -- and it also ends with us, because we will have to patronize, staff, and volunteer for many of these efforts.

It's been my writing mantra that we have to shop locally much more often in order to keep a local economy alive here, to keep ourselves as an identifiable community and not as one more dormitory city.

I stick to this belief, but there is something more we can do that will benefit us, as well as benefit those we help, just as doing our shopping nearby helps everyone.

Volunteering, that's what we can do.

The usual appeal comes from service clubs -- Meals on Wheels, the Legion, Civitans - so many groups. And they do need volunteers, most certainly, and those who volunteer with community service groups seem to gain a lot of satisfaction and a nice boost of self-confidence, all from working together and helping others.

A further idea -- to aid local shops and businesses -- is to volunteer to help those businesses which make up our economy. This is besides shopping there. The idea is to offer to volunteer a few hours a week for uncomplicated tasks around the store -- stocking shelves, taking inventory, making reminder calls, and so on.

Certainly the smaller and specialized shops would love the offer. It's easy to think of a few places to start -- even this newspaper, the Bulletin, would benefit from volunteer help. And the help is interesting, the atmosphere something different, even exciting.

It might be fun to work in a florist shop , at the vet clinic, at a local garage -- are you wondering what's out there? Look in the 2014 Aylmer Business Directory, which the Bulletin produces to promote local businesses -- there are a surprising variety of shops and businesses here.

Volunteering is a way of saying to, for example, our local bookstore, ‘Thanks for being here, for giving our town a real bookstore!’ This is one way that we, ourselves, can create a richer, more prosperous, and more interesting community. After we vote.


Copyright © 2014 Fred Ryan/Log Cabin Chronicles/04.14