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Letter: Volunteers deserve respect – and a thank you from Revenue Canada

We sometimes forget to acknowledge and to appreciate the wonderful work of our community volunteers.
We sometimes forget to acknowledge and to appreciate the wonderful work of our community volunteers. We are most fortunate to have so many dedicated men, women and children who freely give of their time, talents and empathy to help any and all who may require assistance at some time in their lives.

So many wonderful people volunteer for community service through their fraternal organizations, church groups, schools, clubs, companies, etc., to sponsor fund raisers in support of charitable donations or assistance, who visit the sick and needy, serve meals at soup kitchens, deliver meals-on-wheels to the ill and elderly, clean up accumulated garbage on our streets and highways through the Adopt-a-Road program, assist at blood donor clinics, volunteer for the Operation Red Nose program or as a Citizen On Patrol and perform myriad other tasks for the benefit of all of us.

However, with our aging population and the budgetary curtailment of many municipal, provincial and federal government services that we once took for granted, we will need even more volunteers to meet the ongoing and growing demand for these unpaid services.

My suggestion to the Government of Canada and to Revenue Canada is very simple, and is certain to help increase the ranks of volunteers.

Revenue Canada should allow a charitable deduction from personal income taxes of, say, $2 per hour for every hour of volunteer work, verified by the organizations involved, for every community volunteer.

So, if you donate 500 hours of your time to community organizations for charitable volunteer work, you would be entitled to a $1,000 charitable deduction on last year’s income taxes.

It’s simply one way for our country to say thank you to volunteers and to help increase this much-needed and wonderful, feel-good way of contributing to society.

Norm Gauthier
Val Therese