The Importance of the Volunteer

National Volunteer Week has just finished and it gives me cause to reflect on the importance of the volunteer when doing any event. Volunteers are not only needed to put on the local summer fair, schools and community centers could also not function without volunteers. When it comes to a wedding the volunteers have titles such as bridesmaid or groomsman and they all have critical functions to perform,  without them the day would fall flat.

This last year in the Fraser Valley the annual Abbotsford Terry Fox run had to be cancelled due to lack of volunteers and was not the only event to suffer this problem.

“Despite putting a plea out to the community, we just didn’t have anybody wanting to come forward to take that lead role with us,” said Donna White, the Terry Fox Foundation’s provincial director for B.C. and the Yukon.

White said organizing the run is tough for volunteers because it’s a big commitment with no budget provided.

“It’s not just Abbotsford, there’ve been a number of communities over the years,” she said. “We haven’t had a run in Aldergrove over the last couple of years…Princeton, Oliver, some of the smaller communities.”

With only several days to go until the run, 10 other communities including Keremeos, Fruitvale and Mile Zero in Victoria are lacking run organizers, according to the foundation’s websit –Read more

There are an estimated 13.3 million volunteers nationwide all of who strengthen our communities and help make our country vibrant.

Ask yourself if you have a skill or knowledge that would be helpful to an organization. Sometimes it need only be a single day a year commitment for an event such as the Terry Fox Run. Or possibly you could be involved at the organizing level, such as a local steering committee. Perhaps you could teach kids or seniors to play guitar or speak Spanish, you never know until you put yourself out there. Some employers such as Telus even reward their employees for volunteering in the community.

I personally volunteer for a few things. The first being the local Scotiabank MS Walk, I have sat on the Surrey committee for years and this took on the role of chair. Our committee is a cross section of the community; housewives, seniors, university students, young high school student and various professionals, every one brings their unique ideas and experiences and we all work together. I also utilize my years of experience in the restaurant industry and volunteer at Century House in New Westminster. A community center for seniors, I help at their restaurant and supervise the high school volunteers at the monthly dinners.

Don’t wait for someone else to step up, there is an opportunity out there for everyone, Just do it….

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If you are interested in volunteering here are some local links, don’t forget to check out your local seniors center or your favorite charity there is something out there for everyone.

Volunteer Canada

Volunteer BC

Options Community Services Surrey

Deltassist Volunteer Centre

Volunteer Chilliwack

Volunteer Abbotsford

Fraser Valley Volunteer Centre

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