It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week as non-profits all over the province are celebrating the people who support them day in and day out.
Some organizations have sent letters of appreciation to their volunteers, while others are highlighting them with surprises throughout the week.
Volunteer work is essential in helping many non-profits keep their doors open.
Despite the challenge of providing services throughout the pandemic, Lenetta Parry, with the West Kelowna Salvation Army, said the volunteers continued working hard.
“The work we do couldn’t happen without our volunteers and we really want to celebrate (them),” she said.
“There are a number of volunteers we have lost because they just don’t feel safe right now and that’s understandable.
“But the volunteers we do have are working extra hard to make sure we continue to meet the needs out in the community.”
According to Statistics Canada, almost 12.7 million people volunteered at charities, non-profits and community organizations just in 2018 alone, about 41 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and up.
West Kelowna Salvation Army treated its volunteers to Spud Stix on Monday afternoon, where they were able to eat together in groups of four to keep bubbles small while still giving them the time to socialize with each other.
Cindy Brewster and Lisa-Marie Pettovello co-own Take Two Interiors. They said what motivated them to volunteer at the Salvation Army’s thrift store is being around selfless people.
“We get to meet the most wonderful people that donate their time and help other people,” Pettovello said. “It’s about making a difference and just doing really good things for families in the community.”
Brewster said for her, it’s about giving without the thought of compensation.
“For me, it’s about just giving selflessly…just giving (and doing) what I do best, just doing displays and being creative,” she said.
For others like Terry Remin, volunteering during the pandemic has given her a chance to be around other people safely while doing something meaningful, especially as she recovers from a concussion.
“I’m volunteering to find out and to test myself just what types of things I can do and what hours I can sustain,” she said.
“This is a good and fun place and they really do good works.
“If you have time in your hands and further the good work in our community, look into volunteering.”