Before I moved to Princeton in 1986 I had limited volunteer experience. Once I started to move around a bit more within the framework of this small town I discovered something very interesting. If Princeton had no volunteers, much of what we have here would not exist. In fact, you could say that volunteers are probably responsible for more activities, facilities and celebrations in our community than any other source.
I learned early in my time in Princeton from my boss at the time, the late Laurie Currie, that there is something very special about giving of yourself to your community. I never forgot that and have been actively volunteering each year I have lived here. The list of groups I have held executive positions on reads like a who’s who of local non-profits. I have been rather busy in the 32 years I have been a resident of the Town of Princeton.
Some of The Groups I Have Been Part Of
My first position was the Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce. I have been the President of Princeton Racing Days, President of Princeton Exhibition Association (PXA), Vice President of Princeton Crisis Assistance, Secretary of Princeton Rotary Club, President of the Princeton & District Business Enhancement Association (BEA) and a Director on several other boards including Princeton Rodeo Club and Okanagan College (Princeton) Advisory Board.
I am rarely involved in any less than three groups at a time at any given time. I am currently the Chairman of the Granite Creek Preservation Society, President (as of last week) of Princeton & District Museum & Archives Society and Vice President of the Princeton & District Chamber of Commerce. There’s something I really enjoy about giving back to my community and working with others to achieve worthwhile goals for local non-profits.
What I Think Volunteers Do For Princeton
I view volunteers in the Princeton area as special citizens. They are truly the people who have created and maintained the cultural fabric of our community. Non-profits can access funding sources that are not available to communities any other way. Non-profits are committed to spending their funds on things that are supposed to benefit the community as a whole. Non-profits host events to fundraise in order to make our community a little bit better.
Volunteers work tirelessly for no pay. They are driven by the desire to do something good for others. That truly takes a special kind of person and I am still learning from other volunteers who have been at it far longer than the 32 years I’ve put into giving back so far in my life. Volunteers are important and vital to the survival of the arts and culture of any community. In Princeton, this is magnified by the smaller population here compared to the bigger cities further down the road.
Do Volunteers Get Enough Recognition?
I am grateful that more than one local non-profit organization has taken it upon themselves to host special dinners honouring volunteers. However, it bothers me that it has to come from another non-profit. I honestly feel that our elected officials have the responsibility to show their appreciation to volunteers by taking the initiative to create awards, banquets and celebrations where volunteers can be recognized, thanked and honoured for what they do in our town.
If you were to take away each and every contribution made within the community that was either organized, funded or built because of volunteers, it would become apparent that we all have a debt to pay for those hard-working volunteers. They have given Princeton and the surrounding area so much. Places we go, things we do, celebrations we participate in all are mostly the result of local volunteers. These are the people who step up. They get involved and fully involved.
Join Me And Become A Volunteer
If you are new to Princeton or you just want to connect with people and don’t know where to start, I strongly urge you to become part of the fabric of our community by becoming a volunteer. If you have never given time back to your community, expecting nothing in return, you really have to experience it. There are lots of volunteer opportunities around Princeton. You will meet new people, make new friends and feel good about doing something good.
Volunteers are a huge part of what makes Princeton tick. I only wish that they received more attention and recognition for what they contribute to our committee. If I am elected to Princeton Town Council in October, I will bring the voice of hundreds of local volunteers to the Council Chambers. I know what volunteers are capable of. They are a powerful force and resource. They don’t sit back and complain about how things should be fixed or changed.
They are the people who fix and change those things because volunteers know there is a big difference between saying something and doing something. I am proud to call myself a Princeton volunteer and I thank all the other Princeton volunteers for what they have and continue to do. You have given much to your community. Thank you.
Since I announced my intention of seeking a seat on Princeton Town Council I haven’t had much in the way of negative feedback. So far, most everyone I have come in contact with since my January 1st announcement has been supportive. Clearly they feel I can do the job. But there are a few who don’t quite understand my motivation and I hope to clear that up here.
I Am Already Working Full-Time
Just over two years before we closed our newspaper office I started a home-based business. I thought I could make an extra income with part-time freelance writing. It’s a pretty common choice for those of us who have worked in the Media because it is a natural transition. I started writing for a couple of clients in Australia and the United States in January 2014.
The work I started doing online was basic. I was providing product descriptions for eCommerce sites as well as blog posts for bloggers. Yes, you can get paid for this kind of work and it didn’t take long for me to build a small stable of regular clients. But because we still had the newspaper (Similkameen News Leader) in operation, I kept my freelance work quiet and small scale.
When my wife, Brenda, and I decided to cease publication of the paper in July 2016, she had already established a home-based business of her own. It is called JamBusters! and many locals have seen us vending Brenda’s home-made canning and preserves in and around the region. We started vending JamBusters! seriously in the Summer of 2016 after our paper closed.
The Job I Have Is A Work-From-Home Employment Opportunity
My freelance writing had grown to the place where I was ready to expand into full-time ghostwriting and did so in September 2016. I gained several more clients and was hired on to write for two different digital marketing firms. Between JamBusters! and my freelance work we were probably going to be able to continue to enjoy the lifestyle we had created here.
Both Home-Based Businesses Boomed
In 2017, both of our hobbies had finally transitioned into full-time employment. JamBusters! vending dates increased to where we spent over 50 days of the year selling Brenda’s products. By year end we had sold in excess of 1,300 jars of jams, jellies, salsas, relishes, chutney and assorted other preserves that Brenda created under the JamBusters! brand name.
My ghostwriting saw a shift in clients with some dropping out and many new ones coming on board. By early 2018 I had clients I wrote for on a regular basis in 40 different countries in the world. My workload had ballooned to between 80 and 100 writing jobs completed per month. That’s about 100,000 words of copy monthly for websites and blogs all over the world.
Why Am I Running For Town Council?
Well, it’s most certainly not because I need a job. In fact, that is the furthest thing from my mind. My freelance work and the vending business that I help Brenda with pay all our bills. That was what we were hoping was going to happen when we converted our hobbies into full-time home-based businesses. We feel very fortunate to have had such success with our ventures.
I am running for Princeton Town Council because I believe I can use some of my business sense – and common sense – to help with pushing Princeton into the future. Don’t get me wrong, I have no preconceived notions. We need a team of individuals sitting on Town Council who are like-minded and have skills to bring to the table to forge a future for the community.
If you think I have the skills that you believe the next Town Council requires, then I would be happy if you supported me on Election Day. I already have a full-time job. But it is from that full-time job I have learned many skills that have enhanced my 40-years of Media Marketing and Advertising experience. On October 20th, you get to pick who you want to move Princeton forward. That is a fact. The Election results are completely controlled by you. The choice is yours. If you feel I can contribute in some way, then thank you for your support.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly community newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.