So what is National Volunteer Week anyway?
National Volunteer Week began in Montréal in 1938. It now happens every year during the third week of April in Canada. The week is set aside to celebrate the millions of selfless Canadians who contribute their time, energy and skills to help better their communities. Its purpose is to:
- thank and honour volunteers everywhere
- increase our awareness about the impact of volunteerismWhat is so important about volunteering that we need to celebrate it for an entire week?
Volunteers are people that make very big differences in our lives, our communities and our country. Volunteers are willing to give up some of their time to work without getting paid in "real money" - instead, volunteers get paid through personal satisfaction, friendship and fun. Every year, some six million volunteers contribute one billion hours of service to their community. That contribution has provided society with nearly $13 billion of unpaid service. (Information taken from Canadian Heritage and Volunteer Canada)
Well then, why the workshop?
During this special week, we also need to take the time to reflect on our own lives and how we can make a contribution to our own community by volunteering. We are confident this workshop will help you to do just that! We are here to:
- share with you some of the benefits of volunteering
- help you learn where you can access information about volunteerism
- show you the organisations in your area where you can volunteer
- inspire you to make volunteering an important aspect of your life
Why focus on youth?
- This workshop focuses on youth for a few reasons: to give youth a feeling of community involvement; to advocate responsibility; and to make youth aware of the opportunities available through volunteering.
Experience is a must for youth today, and there really is no better way to acquire experience than through volunteering. We asked one youth why she chose to volunteer and this is what she had to say: "Basically, I think volunteering is good for you because it gives you more and different experience than you can get working. You learn skills at your volunteer job that give you the experience to get paying jobs... My volunteer work has helped me get all my paying jobs, much more than my paying jobs have."
We invite you to use the workshop outline on this site! The outline will guide you through the steps of conducting your own workshop to promote volunteering in your classroom or community. Resources, including numerous links to sites on volunteering have been provided to make your venture a little easier. Young or old, volunteering is a step ahead.
Benefits - What are the benefits of volunteering?
Rights and Responsibilities - Every volunteer has them, do you know what yours are?
Workshop Outline - Explore volunteering with us. . .