Annual Okanagan Volunteer Fair goes virtual

Kelowna Community Resources decided to host the event online to keep people safe

Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) has been hosting the Okanagan Virtual Fair for 22 years but this year, matching volunteers to community organizations will look different.

For the first time, KCR will be hosting the volunteer fair online to keep people safe as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the country.

“Volunteerism in the times of COVID-19 are different, and so, of course, are opportunities to match volunteers with organizations,” KCR executive director Ellen Boelcke said.

“We wanted to ensure we continued our tradition of matching volunteers with organizations at the fair and so have taken the approach of creating a very personal connection with interviews, workshops and panel discussions, while still ensuring social distancing through technological platforms like Facebook and Zoom.”

The Virtual Volunteer Fair has officially started with a series of interviews with community organizations on the Get Involved Central Okanagan Facebook page.

“Knowing we would not be able to meet in person, we decided to film the interviews, to capture the stories from organizations about the impact they have in the community, the type of opportunities they offer and what type of skills and people they are looking for,” Volunteer Fair Coordinator Stephanie Moore said.

“It was really great to learn so much about these organizations – I thought I had a good idea of the opportunities they offered, but I honestly learned lots of new things doing these interviews and I know the community will too.”

On Saturday, Sept. 19 at 10 a.m., there will be a virtual workshop on Zoom, which will also be streamed live on Facebook. The workshop will include breakout sessions where volunteers and organizations get matched up, which will be from 10:45 a.m. until noon.

Saturday’s virtual fair will also launch the new Okanagan Volunteer Connector, a volunteer-centred platform that will match volunteers and non-profit organizations working towards making the same impact.

For more information on the Virtual Volunteer Fair, visit the Facebook page.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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