Sunday, April 19, marks the start of National Volunteer Week in Canada. 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!
Led by Volunteer Canada and local volunteer centres, the theme this year It’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers encourages all Canadians to loudly and proudly cheer for Canada’s volunteers.
“Volunteers work year-round to address critical social, economic, and environmental issues and the generosity is only amplified during floods, forest fires, and public health emergencies,” says Paula Speevak, Volunteer Canada President and CEO. “This year, we want to shine the spotlight on those volunteering to support essential services during this public health crisis, and to salute those who help by staying home to protect themselves and their communities.”
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.
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. Children’s sports teams would all be benched.
Canadians are encouraged this week to post a Cheers to Volunteers! poster in their windows for all to see. The poster is available at Volunteer.ca or they can make their own. Also, Canadians can post Volunteer Canada’s gif on social media with the hashtags #CheersToVolunteers and #NVW2020.