Matching volunteers to opportunities in the community is the role of the new Volunteer4All program at KCR Community Resources and it is already making a difference to individuals and non-profits in the community. Critical funding for this program was provided by the Prospera Foundation, recognizing that volunteerism is not only a great way for people to be connected, to address isolation and to build skills, but also that volunteerism can be a great bridge to meaningful employment. As this is a new program, Prospera Foundation has made a two-year commitment to help ensure the viability and sustainability of the program.
“Volunteerism can be the first step in giving people who have been marginalized or isolated a connection to the community,” says Ellen Boelcke, executive director for KCR Community Resources. “The volunteers gain or hone their skills, build their confidence, grow their network and ultimately increase their employability. At the same time, they get to make an impact for the greater good by helping the many non-profit organizations in the Central Okanagan achieve their mission. With the timely support of the Prospera Foundation, we’re thrilled to launch our new Volunteers4All program, providing vital links and resources to people facing employment barriers in the Okanagan.”
The Prospera Foundation is one of the largest credit union foundations in Canada and supports local programs and projects that help make communities stronger and more inclusive places to live. The Foundation specifically supports charitable projects that contribute to the local business ecosystem and recognized the Volunteers4All program’s potential to support individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations all at the same time.
“Volunteers are essential to making our communities stronger. Prospera’s support for the Volunteers4All program will connect committed volunteers to over 600 non-profit organizations in the Okanagan region. Ultimately, these volunteer experiences will help participants to build their resumes, develop new skills and lead to meaningful employment opportunities. We are proud to support Volunteers4All as a way to create vibrant, healthy communities!” – TJ Schmaltz, President, Prospera Foundation
KCR Community Resources is seeking both potential volunteers that are looking to get connected to great opportunities in the Central Okanagan, and organizations that may have volunteer opportunities open that they need to find people for. Participants can sign up to meet with the Volunteer4All Coordinator Anita Neufeld to create a goal plan and discuss their skill sets and then Anita will try to match them with opportunities in the community.
“We already have a list of great organizations that we are working with, but we are definitely open to more opportunities as well,” explains Neufeld. “I work with the participants to see what their goals are, what they want to achieve by volunteering, and then we set them up for success by connecting them to an option that really suits them. The organization has the benefit of getting a vetted and trained volunteer, who is ready to commit, and I am there to help ensure the partnership is mutually beneficial.”