Volunteer Week declared by Council

Volunteer Week was declared in Yorkton.

“Volunteering is a major part of our identity as Canadians – we value civic participation and embrace a spirit of community. Volunteer Canada, a national non-profit organization, is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada.  According to Volunteer Canada, 12.7 million Canadian volunteers give their time to help others, contributing close to 2 billion volunteer hours per year. The tremendous efforts of Canada’s volunteers help make our country a vibrant, safe place to call home,” said Lisa Washington, Community Development Manager with the City at the regular meeting of City Council Monday in making the recommendation.

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“In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) otherwise known as Global Goals, to mobilize global efforts to improve social, economic and environmental conditions around the world. Canada is one of 193 member states that agreed to work towards achieving these goals by 2030. Volunteer Canada has adopted these goals because volunteering is an essential vehicle to help us tackle some of the pressing challenges facing the world.”

When we look at these 17 SDGs, there is not a single goal that does not involve volunteers:

*No Poverty: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

*Zero Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture  

*Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

*Gender equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

*Clean water and sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

*Affordable and clean energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

“Whether working to eliminate hunger, promoting quality education or reducing inequalities that’s the Volunteer Factor,” said Washington.

The effort of volunteers is important locally as well.

“Locally, we see it every day. Volunteers leading activities, lifting the collective confidence to solve common issues. Volunteers tutoring people to read, lifting their self-esteem and increasing their success in school. Volunteers visiting people, lifting their spirits and keeping them connected. Volunteers coaching sports teams, lifting community pride and creating lifelong bonds,” said Washington.

“Volunteering can also give volunteers a lift. When we volunteer, our spirits are lifted having the opportunity to work with others. Our sense of purpose is lifted when we see how our efforts have helped someone else. Our confidence lifts when we gain skills and experience through volunteering, which in turn, can help us get into a competitive school program or successfully find a job.”

So a week was created to mark such efforts.

“National Volunteer Week, a campaign delivered annually by Volunteer Canada, is about taking time to recognize the incredible contributions of our volunteers and letting them know how much their effort is appreciated. This year’s theme is: “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities.” This year’s campaign has a beautiful image of hot air balloons of different sizes, shapes and colours, reflecting the diversity of community volunteers. It illustrates that when people volunteer together, the sky is the limit, in terms of what they can achieve,” said Washington.

“I urge everyone to join in National Volunteer Week 2019 - April 7 to 13 - as we recognize the collective efforts of volunteers and reflect on the multitude of actions taken locally to help people. As community involvement and volunteering continues to evolve, one thing remains timeless, however - volunteer efforts have a positive impact in Yorkton and all communities across Canada. Community engagement benefits everyone.”

Council was unanimous in declaring the week.

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