Mr. Speaker, this Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of International Volunteer Day. In 1979 the United Nations designated December 5 as a day to honour and thank those who contribute so much to our lives. I cannot possibly mention all the examples of daily generosity that quite frankly we often take for granted.
In my own riding of Vegreville--Wainwright, there is an unending list of the ways that volunteers keep communities strong: delivering meals to people who would otherwise go without and helping at schools, with sports teams, at cultural events, special celebrations and exhibits, and yes, with elections. And of course volunteer firefighters regularly give up time with their own families in order to keep their neighbours safe.
Volunteers are truly the heart and soul of our society. Without them, many communities would simply disappear and our lives would be bleak indeed.
I extend thanks to all volunteers for their willingness to serve, their generosity and their tireless devotion to their communities. May God bless them all.