When you hear a story like volunteer John Cunningham's, published in yesterday's paper, it makes you appreciate what the service of others does for this city and it's people.
Rural Fire Service volunteer Mr Cunningham was awarded a medal for 30 years of service to the community, through his work as a volunteer firefighter.
He recalled the harrowing story of facing down a fire tornado that swept through and over his vehicle while his crew was battling bushfires in 2003 in Canberra.
He spoke of the horror of bearing witness to the destruction and devastation left behind from the 2009 Marysville fires in Victoria.
He's risked his life to save the lives of others, even though he probably doesn't see it that way, and he has been doing so with the Rural Fire Service for 30 years.
And he was just one of 22 people recently awarded service medals for volunteering with the fire service.
Doesn't it make you appreciate the value of the people in our society. When walking down the street, you could be passing someone like Mr Cunningham, who has spent decades giving up his nights and weekends to protect the life and property of others, most of whom were probably complete strangers.
According to Volunteering ACT, Canberra has the highest volunteering rate nationally. More than 36 per cent of the population actively volunteers, contributing an enormous $1.5 billion to the ACT economy every year.
The statistics mean more than one in three Canberrans regularly volunteer. They spend time outside their normal work to help out in some way or another, just like Mr Cunningham.
In 2014, there were 5.8 million people in Australia (31 per cent) who had volunteered in the previous 12 months, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
More than 743 million hours had been contributed to communities across Australia, equating to 128 hours per volunteer in that year.
The bureau said the most commonly reported reasons for volunteering were to help others or the community (64 per cent), for personal satisfaction (57 per cent) or to do something worthwhile (54 per cent).
Volunteers benefit the community by providing enriched and extended services that would not otherwise be available without their support.
It's heartening to think that a large percentage of the population in Canberra finds the time to commit to helping the community. It's a nice feeling to know you're living in a city where so many people value others over themselves, and who value the efforts of volunteering as a way of spending their free time.