The complexity of publishing Tempo during the current pandemic has made us aware of how other volunteer and not-for-profit organizations must also be suffering. The town is lucky to have many vibrant, much-needed volunteer organizations, but they have had a difficult time recently, particularly as they normally carry out their different missions by meeting to jointly exchange ideas and decide their programs.

Volunteers are, by definition, not paid. They do their important work because, by-and-large they enjoy the feeling of contributing usefully to the community and, apart from helping others, many people seek the camaraderie and stimulation of meeting and working with other like-minded people. Much of this is currently not possible. Now, Zoom-type meetings are the most common option, but are not always satisfactory.

It is, however, incredible how creative some groups have become in order to continue their work, often in a different way, capture the imagination of the general public and involve them in fun activities and fundraisers. We are certainly lucky to have so many committed volunteers in the region. For example, the Knowlton Lions Club continues to find new ways to help the community by making phone calls to those living alone, delivering books from the library and organizing a photographic/puzzle competition. Since Wellness could not hold lunches and teas, it made deliveries of different goodies to seniors and essential workers, at the same time supporting local businesses by buying their merchandise. At the beginning of the pandemic, as the age of their volunteers put them in a very high-risk category for COVID-19, they had to call on the assistant fire chief to deliver Meals on Wheels.

We are now in the enviable position of knowing that April is here, we will soon be able to meet in an outdoor setting and we can be proud that most of us have survived the most difficult winter of our lives.