Introducing a means of tracking volunteer hours and sharing stories, Volunteer Central has launched the Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge.
Local volunteers will be able to use the web site – www.volunteercentral.ca and a mobile app – to keep track of their hours and tell their own personal volunteer stories.
Volunteer Ottawa is leading a nation-wide campaign in partnership with Volunteer Canada and national volunteer centres, including Volunteer Central. The campaign encourages folks to volunteer 150 hours of their time this year to mark the nation’s 150th birthday.
With a special focus on new Canadians, Aboriginals, seniors and youth, the Volunteer Challenge will culminate in a ceremony in Ottawa to recognize those individuals who contributed the most hours in each province and territory, and the city that contributed the greatest number of volunteer hours
Volunteer Central Chairperson, Jennifer Blair, said there is no doubt that Red Deer citizens will rise to the challenge.
“We could not let that challenge slide by,” she said. “Because we recognize in Red Deer that volunteers are a central piece of our community – when you volunteer, you aren’t just giving your time and your expertise to a charity or cause that means something to you.
“You are also creating the kind of community that you want to live in,” she said. “And Red Deer is stronger and more vibrant because of the volunteers that so generously give of their time, skills and passion to build a better community.
“The Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge will engage citizens in volunteerism to improve the quality of living for all Canadians. We believe the efforts of Volunteer Central and those of our regional, provincial, and national counterparts will inspire strong, connected, and resilient communities.”
Mayor Tara Veer was also onhand to lend support to the initiative’s start.
“Thanks to Volunteer Central for bringing us all together today in honour of this cause,” she said. “This year marks Canada 150, and with that we are all reminded that the Canada we know and love and the Red Deer we know and love was built by volunteerism – volunteerism in sport, volunteerism in culture, volunteerism in various societal causes that have built that foundation of Red Deer that we know and love today.
“We know that we Red Deerians pride ourselves on being a community of volunteers,” she said. “Because of volunteers, Red Deer supports our vulnerable citizens, we saved a historic train bridge, we’ve built Olympic champions, we’ve enhanced services at our hospital, we host vibrant festivals throughout the year and we are renowned as a place that is clean, green and beautiful,” she said.
“All of this is because of volunteerism – to name just a few of the causes that volunteerism supports and a few of those accomplishments.”
Veer said she was confident that ultimately no only would Red Deer rise to the challenge and surpass the City of Ottawa’s challenge, but that also Red Deerians would prove themselves to be even stronger via the challenge itself.
“We officially declare today as the launch of that challenge and encourage Red Deerians to (take part).”
According to Volunteer Canada, Canadians volunteer an average of 154 hours per year – 59% of the population has volunteered at some point in their lives. The Challenge is intended to build on these numbers, engaging tens of thousand in making a difference in the lives of Canadians.
For more information, check out www.volunteercentral.ca.