It’s National Volunteer Week and we want to celebrate your many accomplishments, the impact you have made and the change you have led in our community. The last year hasn’t been an easy one for you to continue to give of yourself. In fact, it temporarily sidelined many of you, forced you to be socially distanced, when what you craved were contact and connection.
No, it hasn’t been an easy year. And yet, you persisted. You didn’t let a global pandemic keep you down. You found a new way to give and to connect virtually. You donned your PPE, carved out your space and showed up to pack and deliver food hampers. You picked up the phone and called your neighbour. You learned to Zoom and became a virtual volunteer to newcomers. You gathered your family and bubble and volunteered together. For those in Crisis, you answered the calls. As leaders on Boards, you met additional governance and strategic demands to ensure your organizations could navigate the turbulent times. For some of you, when work shut down, you used the time to volunteer instead.
There are so many ways you gave of yourself, your time and your resources and on behalf of our community, we say THANK YOU. The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is “The Value of One. The Power of Many.” It reflects the massive difference each of you makes that collectively has so much impact.
In Canada, Volunteers contribute $55.9 Billion or 2.6% of our Gross Domestic Product. Stats Canada tells us that in 2018 almost 12.7 million people volunteered for charities, non-profits and community organizations. That’s 41% of all Canadians aged 15 and older. These volunteers devoted about 1.7 billion hours, which is equivalent to more than 863,000 full-time jobs. Non-profits, charities and community organizations could not achieve their missions if it weren’t for volunteers.
Your persistence during COVID is tremendous and appreciated. You have gone above and beyond and you are helping to keep us safe and moving forward during very difficult times. Your gritty determination is helping us to rebound and as we move forward during still uncertain times, we continue to rely on you for so much.
A genuine, sincere THANK YOU to you Dear Volunteer for all you do and for being the heart of our community.
KCR Community Resources, home of the Volunteer Centre of the Central Okanagan