Every April Albertans give thanks to volunteers by recognizing National Volunteer Week in Canada. It is a perfect time to celebrate the people of Canada who make a difference and ask for nothing in return.
Sunday, April 19, will mark the start of the event. It’s a coast-to-coast-to-coast celebration of the commitment, dedication, generosity and selflessness of Canada’s almost 12.7 million volunteers. This couldn’t be more timely as the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought us closer together with kindness.
“Thank you to all the amazing volunteers throughout Lac La Biche County,” MLA Laila Goodridge said. “Our communities benefit from strong volunteers, and this week is a perfect opportunity to once again say thank you, and to recognize the important part you play in making our region the very best it can be.”
Canada’s volunteers work tirelessly to achieve progress in their community, city and country.
They give time in support of causes and programs they believe in and ask for nothing in return. Their time contributes billions of dollars to the Canadian economy every month, at last count over $55 billion per year. Their smiles bring happiness and hope.
Melissa Green is the Executive Director at Hope Haven, which is a women’s shelter in Lac La Biche. Green says they regularly utilize volunteers to help with the shelter. Volunteers help run nightly groups, family violence programs, children’s groups, and fundraising initiatives.
“We often have volunteers helping out with big fundraisers,” Green said. “We are very thankful for everyone that has stepped up and helped us.”
Without volunteers and their more than 160 million hours of volunteer time each month, so much of what must get done, would go undone. Meals would have no wheels. Seniors would miss medical appointments. Cats and dogs would have no foster homes. Walkways and driveways of elderly neighbours would pile up with snow. Groceries at food banks wouldn’t make it to those in need.
Green says at Hope Haven volunteers make a difference, and she knows the time they give is very important to the organization.
“I mean, we are a nonprofit. So you know our funds are earmarked for certain things,” Green said. “We often need volunteers to help run those types of programs to be able to provide the services to our community members.”
To help celebrate a volunteer in our community make a post on social media at #CheersToVolunteers.