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KCR: Volunteers have needed skills and experiences

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources
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Sandy Broen-Dupuis moved from Alberta to the Central Okanagan in 2021 after a career in health care and immediately set her mind to volunteering.

New to the community, she went to the Okanagan Volunteer Fair and spoke with the representatives from organizations that she was initially interested in and from those discussions came away with two new roles.

“As a volunteer for Lake Country Health, I drive people to medical appointments and assist them with their errands,” explained Sandy.

“I get so much joy from sharing time with the people that I drive and hearing about their life experiences.”

“There are so many great stories. And I am thrilled when I am able to draw upon my own experiences in health-care systems to anticipate the needs of the people I drive and make their day a little bit easier.”

This connection to her former career is a great motivator for Sandy.

“Volunteering gives me an opportunity to leverage my knowledge and life experiences to serve my community, while developing new skills and meeting some amazing people.”

Sandy also volunteers with the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Emergency Support Services (ESS) as she herself has experienced being evacuated from her home due to wildfires.

“After learning about ESS at the Volunteer Fair, it seemed like a good fit for me and a way to support my community,” shared Sandy.

“It has given me an opportunity for continuing education and learning new skills that help me in my roles with the volunteer management team, and evacuee registration and referral services.”

In her free time outside of her volunteer roles, Sandy is an avid cyclist, her hobby being to plan bicycle trip routes. She loves to spend her vacations cycling backroads around the world.

She encourages others to volunteer, reminding them it doesn’t have to be a large time commitment to make a big difference in someone’s life.

“There are so many different types of volunteer opportunities, and all of us have experiences and skills that are needed.”

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can start your volunteer journey by checking out some of the available opportunities at www.VolunteerConnector.org or connect with Wendy Williams at KCR for one-on-one support to find the right opportunity through the Volunteers4All program (E: wendyw@kcr.ca).

Current opportunities on the Volunteer Connector include rehoming coordinators for ElderDog Canada, where you can help seniors care for their dogs in their homes for as long as possible; Park & Play Program volunteers for the City of Kelowna, where having fun and helping kids enjoy local parks is your main goal; and Tech Mate volunteers for CNIB, who help individuals who are blind or partially sighted to adapt to using technology.

Our team is working hard on preparing for this year’s Okanagan Volunteer Fair at Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, Sept. 21, 2024, and come meet teams from 60+ local organizations that are looking for volunteers just like you!

Dorothee Birker is the communications & development manager for KCR Community Resources.