For Immediate Release
April 19, 2009
Abused women, hungry schoolchildren, homeless families, cancer patients, troubled teens, abandoned kittens -- these are only a few of the thousands of Calgarians that depend on the tireless dedication of volunteers everyday. Volunteerism is an essential community value and volunteers are priceless resources that provide valuable services to the community. Without volunteers, these services may not be able to exist.
In recognition of this, Canada has designated National Volunteer Week as an annual celebration in honour of over ten million Canadians who donate time, skills, and energy towards the benefit of the greater community. In the City of Calgary, Mayor Dave Bronconnier has issued an official mayor's proclamation declaring the week of April 19 – 25, 2009 “National Volunteer Week.”
In times of economic uncertainty, the need for volunteers is stronger than ever. In Alberta, there are over 19,000 non-profit/voluntary sector, over half of which are entirely run by volunteers. In Calgary alone, there are over 5,000 non-profit organizations, most of which work with volunteers to fulfill their missions.
“Volunteers provide the non-profit sector with a powerful resource allowing organizations to meet the needs of the community,” says Laurel Benson, President & CEO of Volunteer Calgary. “This is especially true during challenging economic times when the demands increase but the availability for additional funding decreases for many of our non-profit member organizations.”
Calgary has been fortunate for its abundance of willing volunteers that respond to this need. In 2005, Calgary was dubbed “Volunteer Capital of Canada” following an Ipsos-Reid survey concluding that it had the highest volunteering rates in the country at 71% as compared with the 27 % national average.
To kick off the celebrations in Calgary, Volunteer Calgary hosted the Annual Leadership Awards on April 16, 2009 at the Calgary Stampede, putting a spotlight on outstanding local volunteers in categories of youth, animal, family, business, and individual volunteers.
During National Volunteer Week, non-profit organizations and businesses hold volunteer appreciation events throughout the city as a way to thank their volunteers. Calgarians are highly encouraged to participate in local celebrations that show pride and appreciation for volunteers or to take a moment to say “thank you” to the people who have made a positive difference in the community or in their own lives.
For more information, media may contact:
Karen Franco, Director of Communications
Phone: (403) 231-1436