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Volunteer Article – Now is the Time

Now is the Time…

Seventy years or so ago, there was a popular saying: “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.” A lot has changed since then and today we might say, “Now is the time for everyone to come to the aid of the planet!” As we begin to redirect our focus from overcoming the COVID-19 virus to combatting climate change, now is the time to reactivate and join forces to beat back the looming climate crisis. One way to make a difference in this crucial  cause is to join Sustainable Orillia as a volunteer.   

Orillia is well known and respected for its community spirit and high levels of volunteerism. A quick scan of the City’s website and local media reinforces that point. Hardly a day goes by without a group, an organization or an individual being recognized for their good work on behalf of others. We are truly a City with a heart. Sadly, ‘heart’ won’t be enough in the battle against climate change . . . and more and more Orillians will be needed to lend their ideas, to spread the word, and to give their time on behalf of a more sustainable future.    

Sustainability is different from most volunteer-led causes. By its very nature, it is a broad, universal cause with a thousand, if not more, areas for involvement, change and improvement.   A broad spectrum like that can leave one wondering where to start, while others may ask themselves if they can truly make a difference.   

Sustainable Orillia can help with both those concerns. We are building teams around tangible projects, around focused sectors and around collaboration with our partners. We are working to get as much done as possible in pursuit of our overall mission to engage the community in actions that will reduce our overall carbon footprint and protect the quality of life in our community. You can be part of these efforts. The time to join is now, as we emerge from one existential crisis, the pandemic, to take on the next crisis—climate change.

Today, more than seventy of your neighbours and fellow citizens serve as volunteers in support of Sustainable Orillia.  They are young, old, from all walks of life and all corners of the community.  Volunteers lead and participate on sector teams; they do ad hoc committee work. They bring technical support, expert advice, creative and strategic planning skills to the work we do. Sustainable Orillia is volunteer-led and driven and they have been at the heart of our accomplishments to-date. Our deepest thanks to all our Volunteers.  

Here’s an example of one sector team in action. Our Goods & Services Sector is focused on promoting local sustainable businesses. Increasingly, sustainable businesses have proven to be a winning economic and environmental model.  The more we do to identify and recognize Orillia businesses for their efforts in this regard, the more encouragement it will create across all businesses. The Goods & Services team is looking for people to join their team–people who are passionate about increasing public awareness of the need for sustainable business practices and can help give recognition to those who are working hard to put sustainability into practice.  This is an opportunity to join a dedicated team that meets monthly to discuss and plan activities that will give support and recognition to those businesses. If you are interested, this could be a very good place to start your journey to combat climate change. 

Please take a look at our website—in particular the sector pages—to see if there is a sector where your talents, experience and passion might fit.  

There are just a few benefits to volunteering with Sustainable Orillia – but they are HUGE!  It is important work and provides an opportunity to work with friends, neighbours and like-minded Orillians.  That can be very rewarding.  There is so much to learn and share, as well.  As a volunteer we are always learning from one another, from experts and from the experience of pulling together communications, events and campaigns that will engage more and more Orillians.  As with the African story of the Hummingbird, if we all “do the best  we can” we have a better chance to put out the fire!  In this case, the fire is the threat to Mother Earth and the quality of life we enjoy here in Orillia. 

It’s our choice to make: stand by and let climate change happen to us and to future generations . . . or do what each of us can, starting now.  Every bit matters, no matter how small that may seem at times. “Now is indeed the time for all people to come to the aid of the planet.” Join us at Sustainable Orillia and let’s fight this battle together.

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