Submitter urges all Canadians, Albertans and local residents to recognize National Volunteer Week

Our volunteers vary in age, gender, income, education, race or ethnic background, but all volunteers share one common thing – they want to improve the quality of life in their community.

Dear Editor,

Every day, millions of Canadians take time from work, leisure and home to volunteer their time, talent and energy to help their communities, which is clearly evident in Rimbey. Our volunteers vary in age, gender, income, education, race or ethnic background, but all volunteers share one common thing – they want to improve the quality of life in their community. Our community thrives from the generous efforts of volunteers representing more than 100 not-for-profit organizations.

Volunteering is so deeply entrenched in our society that at one time or another, virtually every Canadian has been a volunteer. Canada’s volunteers, thus Rimbey’s volunteers, fulfill many priceless roles – direct delivery of human and social services, advocacy for every conceivable cause, governance of a complex network or voluntary organizations and agencies. We volunteer for non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, public interest groups, sports teams, the arts, museums and libraries to name a few. We help the powerless to have an effective voice, make our institutions sensitive to the needs of individuals, we let our government know what we think, assist the elderly and sick or bring a smile to a child’s face.

Volunteering can be as structured as working on a committee or as informal as just being a good neighbour. As well as contributing to our community, people who volunteer develop and improve their skills, explore their own strengths and interests, expand their network of neighbours and friends, and feel good about themselves.

National Volunteer Week, April 27 to May 3, 2008, is a time to reflect on the accomplishments of volunteers in the past, recognize and thank today’s volunteers, and think about ways we can become active participants in building strong communities for the future.

History of Volunteer Week in Alberta

Volunteer Alberta, the provincial association of volunteer centres, was established in 1990 to support and promote volunteerism in Alberta. In 1994, Volunteer Alberta and the Wild Rose Foundation formed a partnership that has made Alberta a leader in recognizing National Volunteer Week. The partnership supports a network of communities that work year-round on issues relating to the voluntary sector in Alberta. Over the last 10 years the number of participating communities has grown from 35 in 1994 to over 150 in 2007 and this includes Rimbey! For further information, go to: volunteeralberta.ab.ca or visit Rimbey’s Volunteer Centre website at: rimbeyvolunteers.ca to find out how you can get involved with the Rimbey Volunteer Centre.

History of National Volunteer Week

The Government of Canada (War Services Department) first proclaimed National Volunteer Week in 1948 to recognize the contribution that women made to the war effort on the home front. Special events organized by Women’s Voluntary Services were held in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Vancouver that year. During the following years, little was done to recognize National Volunteer Week until the late 1960s, when the idea of a designated week to honour volunteers was revived. With local volunteer centres taking the lead, the week grew in importance during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1990, the third week of April was proclaimed National Volunteer Week in all communities across Canada.

On behalf of the Rimbey Volunteer Centre, thank you to all volunteers who give so generously and make Rimbey such a magnificent community to live in.

Sincerely,

Moira Gates

Rimbey and district

Volunteer Centre

Rimbey