Volunteers – The Value of One, The Power of Many

National Volunteer Week Blog

Attention: Please be aware, due to the age of this blog post, some content and links may be out of date.

April 19, 2021

April 18 – 24, 2021 is National Volunteer Week, so it is the perfect time to recognize, celebrate and thank volunteers. 

The National Volunteer Week theme for 2021 is The Value of One, The Power of Many.  This theme reflects on the acts of kindness by millions of individuals AND the magic that happens when we work together towards a common purpose.  This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbours, and strangers and sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society.  We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together. 

As we celebrate all those who have stepped up to help others this year, we also recognize all those who have stepped back from volunteering to protect themselves and others.  The value of one person staying home helps protect their network, the power of many people keeping their distance helps protect the community.  Source:  Volunteer Canada blog

During this week thank your volunteers and consider getting involved as a volunteer yourself, there are so many meaningful opportunities in our community and many of these have adapted to virtual.

Have you thanked a volunteer today? – Did you know that there are more than 12.7 Million volunteers in Canada who contribute almost 2 billion hours of time every year. Imagine what our Burlington community would look like if all of that went away!

Here at Tourism Burlington we have volunteers on our Board of Directors who provide direction to ensure that we continue to be a vibrant and successful organization and our various committees.  They get up bright and early for board and committee meetings (held virtually), weed through mountains of minutes, agendas and reports and make presentations in support of Tourism Burlington. 

Pre-pandemic we also had volunteer travel counsellors who welcomed visitors to our information centre and assisted with a variety of daily tasks from welcome packages, to brochure ordering, staffing trade show booths to updating information and doing research.  Thanks to Elaine, Lorraine, Anna, Rhoda, Wendy and Cheryl for all their support in the past and we look forward to them returning when it is safe to do so.  Having these volunteers come in brightens our week.  We have also had students from various educational institutions do volunteer placements with us and we keep them busy greeting and helping visitors and they also assist with various research projects and events. 

Burlington is very fortunate to have so many dedicated and active volunteers.  All of our tourism attractions have volunteers who support their efforts and enhance their services when they are back to “normal” service levels.  At the world renowned RBG you can volunteer with events, conservation projects and other tasks throughout the year.  At Conservation Halton you can get involved in a number of educational and volunteer programs to help improve our watershed.  You can become a Friend of Bronte Creek and be an interpreter, gardener, event planner or fundraiser. At the Art Gallery of Burlington they are looking for dedicated people to run tours and be gallery attendants, help in the gift shop (if only I had the time but my pocketbook would suffer) and assist with classes and their fabulous events.  At the Burlington Performing Art Centre they have numerous volunteer opportunities, from ambassadors, ticket collectors, ushers, coat check attendant and merchandise assistant.  If you like to make history come alive then volunteering at Joseph Brant or Ireland House Museum would be the perfect fit.  You can choose from tour guide, exhibit and event assistant, researcher, librarian, and many other positions.  Many of our festivals also require hundreds of volunteers not only to help plan but to successfully execute these great events that we all enjoy.  Contact Sound of MusicCanada’s Largest RibfestCanada DayChilly Half MarathonSanta Claus ParadeSanta 5K RunDoors Open just to name a few.  You can also check out the City of Burlington Events volunteer page for other opportunities.

Of course like Tourism Burlington all of these organizations are overseen by a volunteer board of directors and some have Foundation Boards too, so if you are more a strategic thinker contact them for details about their governance.

In addition to these suggestions you can contact Volunteer Halton for numerous other ideas and to fit your skills and availability to local organizations.

So please thank a volunteer not just this week but whenever they assist you and consider giving back yourself by becoming a volunteer.

Poster for National Volunteer Week