Community

New trend in volunteering for Chilliwack

Without the hard work and tireless effort of volunteers, many beloved events and vital programs in Chilliwack wouldn’t be possible.

But that’s not to say volunteering has to be difficult and tiring. In fact, Volunteering Chilliwack co-ordinator Cari Moore said helping out is as easy as it’s ever been.

Volunteer Chilliwack is a Chilliwack Community Services program that works to connect would-be volunteers to dozens of different organizations in need of help.

Moore said you don’t have to have a lot of spare time on your hands to help out.

“If you only have a little time to spend on volunteering, you can always volunteer for events,” she said. “You don’t have to be on a committee, you can just volunteer to show up on the day.”

Then there’s the fact that organizations aren’t just looking for manpower. Volunteers with special skills can be a great help to non-profits with limited budgets. And you might not even have to leave your house—or get dressed.

“If you have specific things that you want to do as a volunteer, Volunteer Chilliwack can help match you up with organizations that might need that specific thing.”

For example, Moore said, “If you’re a web designer that wants to volunteer in the middle of the night, I can put it out to the non-profit organizations that I work with and say ‘Does anyone need web designing done?’ They can do it on their own times and their own schedules.”

That reflects a new trend in the volunteering world, Moore said.

“The highly skilled volunteer that has those specific skills [but] only has a little bit of time to do them is kind of the direction that volunteering is going in,” she said. “We really have to rethink the whole ‘Come in every Tuesday for eight hours volunteer position.’”

Many of today’s would-be volunteers are particular about the types of duties they would like to do and might not have as much free time as those 20 years ago.

“They still want to show that they made a difference. The non-profits out there are having to rethink their volunteer positions,” Moore said.

It can be a challenge for non-profits to alter the way they recruit and use volunteers. But a more-skilled volunteer force also presents an opportunity for an organization to gain access to people with valuable—and otherwise expensive—talents.

 

Just make the call . . . and volunteer

Whether you have a lot of time to volunteer or just a little, the place to start is by calling Volunteer Chilliwack at 604-793-7023.

If you know what type of work you would like to do, or what type of non-profit you want to support, Moore will work to connect you with a suitable organization.

If all you know is that you want to help out, Moore will try to learn what sort of volunteer work is best for you and then provide several options.

Volunteer opportunities, especially those revolving around events, can also be found by visiting www.volweb.ca.

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