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.