Celebrating Volunteerism

This post first appeared in Volunteer Victoria’s E-Link newsletter. Sign up for E-Link and keep current with news and information from Volunteer Victoria. We welcome your feedback and suggestions.

This week, all across Canada, organizations are celebrating National Volunteer Week. Here in Victoria, we are also recognizing the very significant contribution that volunteers make to our community. 

Along with this celebration of volunteerism, Volunteer Victoria is also celebrating 35 years of service to our community. As we reflect on the changes that have taken place over the past 35 years, we are very much aware of the way volunteer roles have changed and evolved.

When VV first opened its doors, much of the work that volunteers did in our community was very hands-on. Today, while direct service continues to be a significant and greatly valued role, the scope and diversity of volunteer opportunities has expanded hugely.

 
Many of the activities that volunteers carry out today could not even have been imagined 35 years ago. 

Developments in technology have generated an entirely new category of volunteers in our community. First there were the volunteers who developed websites and databases. Now volunteers are creating social networking sites, managing blogs and developing videos for YouTube.

 
Who knew VV would have a 13 year old photographer compiling a digital photo archive for our Youth Program. Wow! 

Today, volunteers can also support our organizations from 2 miles down the road or 2,000 miles across the country. Like many other organizations, Volunteer Victoria is fortunate to have a “virtual” volunteer. Our wonderful graphic designer produces brochures and flyers – without ever crossing the pond.

As Boomers retire, many organizations have benefited from the wealth of skills and expertise that these talented individuals have to share. For resource strapped non-profits seeking assistance with HR, accounting or marketing, this volunteer expertise is truly a gift. We think our REALnet volunteer team is a very big gift.

There are young professionals who share their cutting edge IT skills, youth volunteers who know more about video production than most of us will ever learn, and workplace teams that give their all to paint a shelter on the weekend.

Volunteers support local festivals, their church, youth soccer, their elderly neighbour and human rights. They serve on boards, conserve our greenspace and Tweet our stories to the community.

They are youth, new Canadians, busy moms, Boomers and your neighbour down the street. They are you and 138,000 others in Victoria. The difference they make to our community is absolutely astounding.

 
And this week we say thank you.  Thank You Volunteers! 

by Val Green, Executive Director
Volunteer Victoria

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