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National volunteer week  celebrates value of volunteering

National volunteer week celebrates value of volunteering

OTTAWA - The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week, from April 15 to 21, is “celebrate the value of volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections and community.”

Volunteering is often seen as a selfless act; a person gives their time, skills, experience and passion to help others, without expecting anything in return. And while volunteering is a form of service, many volunteers will tell you that “you get more than you give.”

From opportunities to develop new skills, to finding deep and meaningful personal connections, the magic of volunteering is that it creates social and economic value for all: for individuals, families, organizations, neighbourhoods, communities and, ultimately, for Canada itself.

That immense richness is something to be celebrated.

What is the value of volunteering to:

- a volunteer tutor who gets accepted into a competitive teaching program?

- the student who’s attendance, grades, confidence and social connections increase?

- a stay-a-home parent who volunteers in the office of a non-profit and learns to use new software in preparation to return to the paid workforce?

- a retiree who finds a new sense of belonging and community while volunteering?

- an organization that is able to stay open enough hours to qualify for an operating grant from the city? and

- a neighborhood that finds itself with lower crime rates as their volunteer rates increases?

The answer is different for everyone and it isn’t simply about dollars - although many have successfully built arguments that volunteer involvement across Canada is worth tens of millions of dollars every month of every year.

While there certainly is economic value, volunteering is measured in other essential things that are harder to quantify: in the ways it builds confidence, competence, and connections; in the way it builds community; and, at the end of the day, the way volunteers create a more just and caring Canada.

The impact of volunteering extends beyond a single individual, accruing compound interest by growing human capital one person, one neighbourhood and one community at a time; the value a volunteer contributes to their community can leave an impact that is seen for generations to come.

When Canadians volunteer, everyone benefits.

This year during National Volunteer Week from April 15 to 21 the diverse value and far reaching impacts of Canadian volunteers will be celebrated.

- Volunteer Canada

April 13, 2018


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