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At this time of the year, when we are busy getting ready for the Christmas season, it is also an opportunity to reflect back on the past year, which I suspect will be over in the next blink of the eye.

This past year has seen the development of new programs, the success of many of our events which added to our sustainability and many men who have benefited from our services. In short, we certainly got the job done.

But, the biggest reflection (and more of a sense of gratitude in actuality) is that behind all of the busy work being done, are these wonderful people who we are so fortunate to call our volunteers, quietly working away to help in any way they can.

A lot of times, there is no glamour or high recognition for this vital work. But that’s ok, they don’t expect it anyways.

I once read a paper titled “You make a difference in the dash”.   Love this and it makes so much sense!

Essentially, the author was saying that life is short.  On our headstones will be the etching of when we were born and the date when we died.  For example 1960 – 2050

The best part of the paper, and the piece that has stuck with me for years though, is that what matters is not the two years mentioned. It is the dash. That little dash.

That’s our life. That represents to me the short time we have, here, to make a difference, or not.

And making a difference means so many different things to so many people.  But for you, the volunteer, what you do during that dash is most significant.

It is so very true that without our strong core of volunteers, we simply could not exist.  We are a very small staff compliment but only strengthened by the sheer numbers of dedicated and passionate volunteers who help us in our daily work.

I wish I could mention every single person who has volunteered with us.  The lists of names would be amazing!

But I can say “THANK YOU” to each and everyone of you who played some part – whether big or small – in all of the successes we have seen this year.  You are all the backbone to this Centre and we are so fortunate, in a time when volunteers are hard to get, that you not only help but stick around as well.

It is so true that nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something.  You all do something that makes a difference – please know that your little dash is helping in so many ways.

Leanne Kopp, Executive Director