by Samantha Wantling
VOLUNTEERS are the backbone of every organisation.
Without them, events wouldn't run or raise anywhere near as much money as they do.
If there was ever a doubt as to the importance of volunteering, look no further than the Junior Football carnival being held in Stanthorpe this Sunday.
This event attracts players and their families from Toowoomba to Glen Innes and all spots in between.
An event of this magnitude, in a community of our size is nothing short of amazing and, for the most part, it is people volunteering their time who make it all possible.
We are blessed on the Granite Belt to have so many of these people who, day in and out, give of themselves for causes and events they hold dear.
The list is endless -Apple and Grape, Snowflakes in Stanthorpe, the Stanthorpe Agricultural Show, the Visitors Information Centre, Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Little Athletics, weekend sports are just a few.
Not one of these would operate if it wasn't for volunteers.
I must admit I am constantly amazed at how such a little community manages to have so many people who put their hand up and offer their hard work and dedication to make the Granite Belt such a wonderful region to reside.
But lately, organisations are struggling, clubs are screaming out for help and the strong and vibrant town that I grew up in, the town that has always been there for each other, is turning its back on each other.
Take for example the reading of the Stanthorpe Weather Station.
It may not be an ideal situation, but we are desperate for volunteers to spend a maximum of 10 minutes, twice a day to read the weather.
We are already half way through June and, as of yesterday, we should have had 28 readings (minimum and maximum) and we have only had eight readings.
This town prides itself on being the coldest place in Queensland but we are fast losing this spot to other regions.
Just because you don't own a business or have children, just because you aren't affiliated with any organisations, just because you don't play sport, or the weather doesn't interest you, just because... doesn't mean you shouldn't care.
We all choose to live here for different reasons, but we all choose to live here.
If you have ever thought about volunteering I encourage you to do so. Your community needs you.
You will make friends and build stronger relationships and you'll learn a lot about yourself.
Don't take for granted what so many people have done to make this community vibrant and thriving.
Stand up, volunteer and take pride in the Granite Belt.
You might be surprised at what you get out of it.