The 26th Annual Volunteer Fair is set to share opportunities for making a difference in our community this Saturday, September 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Parkinson Recreation Centre (1800 Parkinson Way). Over 60 organizations will be sharing about their programmes and how volunteers can engage with them to create meaningful community impact.
Whether volunteers are interested in making an impact in the arts and culture, recreation, social services, health or animal welfare sectors, there will be a myriad of opportunities shared and the ability to meet with representatives from all of the organizations.
“The recent wildfire situation really highlighted once again, the important role that non-profit organizations and volunteers play in community wellness,” says Ellen Boelcke, executive director for KCR Community Resources, which is home to the Volunteer Centre of the Central Okanagan. “Whether it was supporting the Emergency Support Services, helping animals to be evacuated safely, distributing food and clothing for displaced people or a variety of other things, our community spirit really shone once again, thanks to the giving spirit of volunteers.”
The crisis had many people from the community step forward to find ways to help, but they may have been unable to because of restrictions or lack of capacity to onboard new volunteers that organizations may have.
“The Volunteer Fair is such a great way to be connected before a crisis hits the community,” adds Boelcke. “Being part of an organization, being engaged and trained, means the volunteers are ready to go when situations arise. Many times, organizations cannot accept new volunteers during a crisis because they are not able to evaluate or train them properly, putting the volunteers, the organization and the community at greater risk. This is why it is so important that we are proactive. If you want to be a part of helping, the Volunteer Fair is a great tool for you to connect to the organizations at the heart the community.”
Thanks to the continued sponsorship of community partners including the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Foundation, Interior Savings, the Kelowna Capital News and BellMedia, the Fair is free to attend with lots of special door prizes available.
For more information about the Okanagan Volunteer Fair and a complete list of participating organizations, go to www.kcr.ca/volunteer to download the 2023 Get Involved magazine and plan your day at the Fair.