For those following the Gregorian Calendar it is officially 2024 … and some of you may have decided to make new resolutions that may include giving back to community by sharing your time, talent or treasure. As always, at KCR Community Resources we are happy to try and connect you to a meaningful opportunity through the Volunteer Connector (www.volunteerconnector.org) or through the Volunteers4All Program, where we can help guide you to determine what your volunteer goals are and how to achieve them. Contact Wendy Williams, the Volunteer Centre of the Central Okanagan Coordinator for one-on-one support to start your volunteer journey: email@example.com or 250-763-8008.
For Gulshanpreet Brar and her husband Balzor Singh, they decided that they wanted to be able to give back and started their own organization “Together We Grow” in 2022 to harness the power of networking and connectivity to meet the needs of community.
“We started this because we saw the need in the community to connect organizations who want to help with those who need help,” explains Gulshan. “I feel that professionally we have been established in our careers, and now is the time to give back to the community. All the skills we have accumulated over the years, we can bring them to the community. We are socially active, and can use our skills in networking to give back.”
“We hear about certain needs in the community and then look for ways and people to meet that need,” adds Balzor while explaining that since starting their organization, they have been able to help individuals as well as organizations like Mamas for Mamas and Karis Support Society.
“We love to volunteer,” continues Balzor. “We love to help and give other people strength, and we know we get strength by helping and putting smiles on others’ faces.”
Gulshan and Balzor are originally from the Punjab area of India and moved to the Okanagan in 2020. Currently Gulshan works for BMO as a mortgage specialist and Balzor has his own mortgage brokerage.
“We have a few friends helping us when we need,” explains Balzor. “We always get volunteers from partner charity organizations also.”
“Sometimes its hard to do things alone but as a team we can do a lot for others,” states Balzor emphatically. “To me, volunteering is about ensuring the wellbeing of others.”
You can find out more about Balzor and Gulshan and Together We Grow on Facebook and Instagram, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 204-963-2570.
And if you have resolved to get more exercise and to connect with nature, then the Friends of the Okanagan Rail Trail (FORT) have a couple of opportunities that will help you with that. They are looking for both Trail Ambassadors and Trail Stewards. As a Trail Ambassador you would be the ‘eyes and ears’ on the trail, helping to communicate important information for the continued success and development of the Trail. The Trail Stewards apparently have a lot of “job security” as one of their main functions is weed pulling, along with planting and monitoring of the restoration spaces over time. Check out the Volunteer Connector for these and more opportunities.