We love staking a claim as being the capital of (insert subject here).

But one thing Whanganui can truly claim to be is New Zealand's volunteer capital.

We have almost 1000 of them which is a stunning number in a city of about 43,000 - and that's just those on the books.

Every year for the last four years Volunteer Whanganui has shone the spotlight on that to coincide with International Volunteer Managers Day.

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Manager Sandra Rickey's I Dare You campaign ropes in prominent locals to get out and volunteer for a few hours.

It's a savvy piece of marketing because it drives publicity around what volunteers actually do, shows how much they are needed and gets people thinking about volunteering.

The Chronicle has been happy to oblige in spreading that message this week with a series of stories on how our would-be volunteers got on.

Rickey deserves to be heaped with praise for the healthy state of volunteering in Whanganui because her initiatives have really helped ignite the city's volunteer base.

But there's always more to be done and there are well over 50 worthy positions on Volunteer Whanganui's website from club treasurers, to companions, to coaches, to event helpers - so go and check them out.

Volunteers keep large parts of this community ticking, even parts we think of as essential.

Firefighting, medical care, elder care, Coastguard, surf lifesaving and social work all in part get farmed out to volunteers.

As a society we manage to pay sports stars and business leaders big money while the person who turns up to put out a fire, save your life or help people through illness could be doing it out of the goodness of their heart and without pay.

That's something to think about while tipping our hat to Whanganui's volunteers and everything they do for this community.