Some of our exceptional volunteers featured here at the 2010 Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life.
In 1943, the War Services Department of the Government of Canada launched an initiative to recognize the vital contribution that women made to the war effort on the home front. National Volunteer Week was announced and events took place from east to west in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
These activities were the grassroots beginnings of a national volunteer recognition and appreciation campaign. This campaign has since developed into Canada’s largest and most prominent celebration of volunteers, volunteerism and local citizenship. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s local communities and organizations led the charge by generating awareness about the benefits of volunteer contributions and advocating the importance of national volunteer recognition. In 1990, the third week of April was officially proclaimed National Volunteer Week in all communities across the Canada. Today, it is the most anticipated and exciting volunteer event of the year, where over 12 million Canadians are honoured for generously donating more than 2 billion hours of their time every year to causes they care about.
Volunteers: Passion. Action. Impact.
Volunteer Canada chose this theme to pay tribute to the volunteer heroes who dedicate themselves to making their communities a great place to live; And the volunteer heroes of AIDS Calgary do just that! They turn their passion into action, volunteering their time, energy, skills and resources to HIV/AIDS education, awareness, prevention, advocacy and support. In the last year, over 300 volunteers donated 5595 volunteer hours to countless programs and projects. AIDS Calgary volunteers help cook meals for our lunch program, provide complementary therapy and wellness services to people living with HIV, deliver hampers during the holiday season, plan major special events in the community, speak about HIV in schools and other communities, host education booths at local community events, provide peer education, sit on advisory committees for special projects, take pictures, make tens of thousands of condom packs, provide administrative support, sit on the Board of Directors and even write for this blog. This is just a sample of the work our volunteers do.
Our volunteers help to sustain our community initiatives and play a key role in helping to fulfill our mission. We would like to thank all of our volunteers for continuing to put their passion to action and making a significant and powerful impact on reducing the harm associated with HIV for all individuals and improving the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS.
We invite you to celebrate National Volunteer Week with us April 10th to 16th. Get involved by volunteering your time, taking part in a community event, thanking a volunteer, or telling a friend.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
Note: Although National Volunteer Week (NVW) was designated the third week of April, the date was changed this year to ensure that Canadian volunteers are the national focal point during NVW and avoid overlap with other holidays that fall within the same time frame.
References: Volunteer/Benevole Canada Website, Volunteer Alberta National Volunteer Week Resource Kit
This article was written by our Coordinator of Volunteer Engagement.