McCauley Musings

Appreciating Our Volunteers

The neighbourhoods of Boyle Street and McCauley are rich in volunteer community groups and organizations. Even in cases where there are staff members, volunteers lead and drive these initiatives, which often have shoestring budgets.

Boyle McCauley News happens to be one such organization. We get a lot of feedback, not only about our own work, but about the various events and community organizations in the area, even though we’re not connected with most of them (apart from reporting on their activities).

Volunteerism is important for any community, and needs to be encouraged. This is why criticism needs to be constructive. People need to hear what they are doing right – not only their mistakes. Of course, mistakes need to be addressed and apologies or corrections given when necessary. However, there also needs to be the realization that nothing ever goes smoothly or error-free, especially in volunteer organizations.

Volunteers need encouragement and support. They are among the community’s most valuable resources – people who give their time and skills. It can be easy to point out where things fall short, but it takes only a few moments in an email or verbally to tell volunteers how much their efforts are appreciated. I know that I am talking mostly to people who “get it,” because just about everyone I know in the area volunteers for something! Thank you for all that you do to make this community better.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • Harbin Gate Memories – Memories written about the Harbin Gate hang on the fence where it was removed for Valley Line LRT construction. Paula E. Kirman

  • New Community Space at Bissell Centre – Ryan Arcand presents Gary St. Amand, CEO of Bissell Centre, an eagle staff at the grand opening of Bissell Centre’s new community space in its west building, on June 11. The drop-in has improved access to basic needs and support services. Paula E. Kirman  

  • Editor Receives Award from ESPC – Boyle McCauley News Editor Paula E. Kirman received the Edmonton Social Planning Council’s Award of Merit for Advocacy of Social Justice on May 24. She is pictured between ESPC Research Coordinator John Kolkman and his wife Kate Quinn, both McCauley residents and founders of the paper. Melissa Scott

  • MUSE Awards – The Edmonton Muse, an online magazine dealing with local art, culture, and music, celebrated its first anniversary on May 25. As part of the celebration at the Starlite Room, awards were handed out to several Edmontonians making a difference. Boyle McCauley News Editor Paula E. Kirman was the first recipient for her involvement in a number of volunteer, non-profit groups. Marissa Loewen

  • Graffiti Artists at Work – Graffiti artists made original creations during Hip Hop in the Park on May 26 at Boyle Street Plaza. Paula E. Kirman

  • Portrait of a Caterpillar – Gord Currie is an Ambrose Place resident who has taken up photography to cope with the challenges in his life. Here is an example of his work. He says that he has gone from “poverty to photography” and gives credit for this photo “to the caterpillar for being a good subject.” Gord Currie

  • MUSE Awards – The Edmonton Muse, an online magazine dealing with local art, culture, and music, celebrated its first anniversary on May 25. As part of the celebration at the Starlite Room, awards were handed out to several Edmontonians making a difference. One of the recipients was Sinder Sparks, founder of The Musical Mamas Society, a group of women musicians from in and around the area. Paula E. Kirman

Around the Neighbourhood

Volunteer With Us!

We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Next Issue . . .

Our next issue is September. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also encourage submissions of poetry, and cartoons (in JPG or PDF format). Deadline: August 12. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.