On the eve of National Volunteer Week, Red Deerians had a chance on Saturday to learn more about the numerous volunteer opportunities currently available in our community.
A Volunteer Fair was hosted by the Red Deer Public Library in the Snell Auditorium April 14 and saw representatives from nine local organizations on hand to answer questions and showcase their opportunities to the public.
Kimberley Whiting, Adult Services Library Assistant, Red Deer Public Library, says it’s the first time they’ve tried an event like this.
“We asked a number of community groups to come to the library and set up some tables,” says Whiting. “So that members of the community who were thinking of volunteering or who volunteer, can come to the library and browse through the different booths and talk to some of the people and talk about what kind of volunteer opportunities they have and find the fit for them.”
She says there are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available, including at the library for example.
“We have volunteers for home service, which is a partnering of someone who is mobile who can bring materials to someone who is home-bound,” Whiting explains. “We have an adult literacy program and of course, every summer we have the summer reading program and there’s quite a demand for volunteers for this summer for that program.”
“I hope some of the community groups do connect with someone and they have some volunteers,” exclaims Whiting. “I think anyone who is a volunteer, comes and is thanked for the work that they do. I think it’s a good opportunity to see what kinds of things are happening in the community and how much our community depends on volunteers.”
Pam Snowdon, Executive Director for Volunteer Central, says most organizations couldn’t do the good work that they do without the help of volunteers.
“It’s very crucial, it’s always an ongoing need,” explains Snowdon. “The amount of contribution that volunteers make in Canada is millions and millions of dollars-worth of unpaid work that they’re contributing every year to getting things done.”
She goes on to say they’re very excited to partner in this event with the Canada Winter Games and Red Deer Public Library.
“It’s so valuable,” states Snowdon. “It’s just great to be working side-by-side with these organizations and seeing people come in here today and connect with these organizations. Hopefully they’ll find something that’s really fulfilling for them and help that organization at the same time.”
Organizations on hand for Saturday’s Volunteer Fair included Canadian Blood Services, Catholic Social Services, Central Alberta Refugee Effort, City of Red Deer, Friends of the Red Deer Public Library, Red Deer Public Library, ReThink Red Deer, Volunteer Central and the 2019 Canada Winter Games.
Officials with Volunteer Central say roughly 51 per cent of Red Deerians volunteer, contributing on average 161 hours each per year, equaling the work of 4,500 full-time jobs.
National Volunteer Week is April 15 – 21.
This year’s theme is ‘Celebrate the Value of Volunteering’.
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