I’ve been fortunate to be a volunteer on the Community Advisory Panel for the Junior League of Calgary over the past year. The Junior League founded Volunteer Calgary back in 1955, so it’s been fulfilling for me to give back to the organization that gave birth to my organization and indirectly, years later, my job and my passion for Calgary.
You see, I really love my job here at Volunteer Calgary and I know the value of a volunteer centre in our community. There are currently 687 positions on our website from over 400 organizations. We receive more than 1,100 visitors to our volunteer search each day. Wow! Calgary is known as a Volunteering city and Volunteer Calgary promotes and shares that spirit. And to think, it all began with a group of of committed volunteers sat around the table and said “what does our community need?”
So I wonder, what does our community most need? What are we hurting for? And I have a challenge. Well, two of them.
First, to my fellow volunteering Calgarians: Find something you love to care about and find out where and how you belong in it. If you don’t find it in our (super awesome) new search, make sure you create a profile so you can be notified when new positions are posted in your interest areas. And don’t stop there. Take a look at our Members list. Find that cause you can love to care about and contact them directly. Offer your skills and a reasonable amount of time and work with that organization to create the volunteer role of your dreams!
My second challenge is to my peers, managers of volunteers in Calgary. It’s time for us to step up in our organizations. We can engage these aspiring volunteer change-makers. We can use our influence and get creative. Will you identify what your organization is most in need of and work with a volunteer (or two, or ten!) to fill these needs?
Sure, not every volunteer experience will create a new organization that will live to celebrate it’s 56th anniversary (Happy Birthday VC!), but what we do with our time is precious and every volunteer experience matters. It makes a difference, it shapes our community and it changes lives.
The Junior League is still making that impact by asking the simple question, “what does our community most need, and how can we fill it?” And I want to challenge you, in whatever way suits you best, to answer this question for yourself – and for our community.