National Volunteer Week celebrates the efforts of those giving back

National Volunteer Week runs April 12-18 with local activities planned

Throughout the year thousands of volunteers go about the region offering their time and attention to various organizations, often with little thanks and without seeking recognition.

Volunteer Week is a national celebration held in honour of those who give up their time, effort and resources to contribute to the betterment of their communities. From April 13th-18th, communities and organizations across the country will host awareness events, appreciation luncheons and more in honour of those who dedicate themselves to helping others.

“This is a nationally-recognized period of time to acknowledge and thank and appreciate all of the volunteers we have. It’s also a great time to be talking about volunteerism and getting more people involved in volunteering,” said Karen Oatway, executive director of Volunteer Central.

“Lots of organizations do their own volunteer appreciation during this time. They know their volunteers the best and how best to show them appreciation. For our staff, we’re very excited to be partnering with the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery for an exhibit that will run until August 21st. It’s got highlights on volunteers throughout Central Alberta and it really shows that people volunteer for different reasons, and anyone can do it.”

The annual volunteer appreciation evening for Lacombe will be held on April 14th at 7 p.m. at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Those who volunteer within the Lacombe region are encouraged to attend the celebration.

For more information or for tickets contact Lacombe FCSS at 403-782-6637.

Blackfalds’ annual volunteer appreciation celebration will be held on April 16th at 7 p.m. at the Blackfalds Community Hall.

Former Olympian Lyndon Rush, a bronze medallist in bobsledding at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics will give a brief presentation on the importance of volunteering.

The Carol Simpson Volunteer of the Year Award will also be given out during the evening.

The Leaders of Tomorrow Awards and the Dylan Stork Youth Ambassador Award will be given out during a special school presentation at the Iron Ridge Campus earlier in the day.

Anyone who volunteers within the community of Blackfalds is invited to join in the celebration. RSVP your attendance to Blackfalds FSCSS at 403-600-9066 or email fcss@blackfalds.com by April 10th.

Meanwhile, Volunteer Central is a fairly new organization based in Red Deer that collects data on all volunteer opportunities in Central Alberta. The program was launched about a year ago and has since seen vast growth in its users and the breadth of organizations it has been able to help.

Organizations, non-profits, fundraiser events and the like contact Volunteer Central to have their details posted online and shared. The coordinators at Volunteer Central manage the postings of thousands of organizations and are therefore able to connect people with a wide variety of groups that might suit them.

“Things have been very busy and very fun. We’ve been working all throughout Central Alberta. There are a ton of volunteer opportunities on our web site, and they are really easy to find. You go on the site and you just click on the yellow button and you can see all of the opportunities available,” Oatway said.

“You can search by area in Central Alberta – whether that’s Ponoka, Lacombe or Red Deer.  You can search by interest, if you want to work with kids, or animals or seniors. You can also search by organization.”

Currently, Volunteer Central has a draw opportunity happening until the end of April. To be entered into the draw, go to www.volunteercentral.ca and navigate to the ‘volunteer opportunities’ section. Information for the draw becomes available on the page. Oatway said there are a number of great prizes, with first prize being a $50 recreation pass from the City of Red Deer and United Way.

One of the ways Volunteer Central helps the community is by providing training workshops for volunteers and employees of non-profit organizations

“We’ve got workshops for volunteers and staff, mostly for non-profits. We’ve offered leadership and management courses, event planning and skills for volunteerism and non-profit sector employment. Right now, we’re partnering with the Central Alberta Association of Fundraising Professionals to do workshops on May 8th and 9th,” Oatway said.

“That’s definitely a concern for most non-profits, especially in this budget year. That gives them some great tips and ideas on how to make their fundraising more successful. With small non-profits, people kind of get delegated into positions where they don’t have experience, so these workshops are great.”

Volunteer Week is a great time to review local volunteer listings, become involved and gain education on the wide variety of groups and events that need volunteers in Central Alberta. The web site is easy to navigate and search through, and there are positions available for all ages and skill–sets, she added.

For younger people, volunteering is also a great way to add experience to college and university applications, as well as to gain criteria with which to apply for scholarships. It’s also a way to maintain meaningful activity if a person loses their job and a way to network and maybe gain access to employment.

Interested parties can also check out the Sector News newsletter presented by Volunteer Central, which connects them to job postings in non-profit organizations as well as provides information on local event listings seeking volunteers.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Most Read