Wilkinson: The Volunteer Fair through a fresh lens

Have you heard the phrase: Can’t see the forest for the trees? It struck me that I have been so involved planning the Volunteer Fair that ran last weekend that perhaps I needed a fresh perspective.

Have you heard the phrase: Can’t see the forest for the trees? It struck me that I have been so involved planning the Volunteer Fair that ran last weekend that perhaps I needed a fresh perspective.

What is the Volunteer Fair like for a newcomer to our community?

Diane moved to Kelowna in April from North Vancouver.

“The urge to volunteer never goes away,” Diane offered, “and I know it is one of the best ways to become familiar with a community.”

When someone mentioned to her the Volunteer Fair was coming up, she kept her eyes and ears open, watching the newspapers, listening to the radio. She looked up the information at www.kcr.ca and it provided a snapshot of what to expect.

“I registered for Volunteer Speed Matching and it really was a speedy way to learn about a few organizations,” Diane explained. That focus helped because there were lots of people at lots of displays and sometimes she had to wait her turn.

“That’s what you expect at an event like this,” said Diane. “It is a tremendous gift to the community to be able to go to one place and learn about so many possibilities.”

Now I was curious. What did she choose?

Diane’s volunteer history connected to health issues and disaster through Emergency Social Services, Red Cross and hospital palliative care. For her, it was time to switch from people in distress.

Ballet Kelowna offered a fresh focus and an opportunity to explore some new skills. “I’m the kind of person, once I volunteer at a place, I like to really get into it,” she explained.

Diane intends to begin slowly because she does not know much about ballet. She will meet and greet at events, observe and get to know the organization. Her intention is to blossom in emerging roles over time.

The Volunteer Fair is over but you can look for volunteer opportunities in the Central Okanagan by visiting our web site: www.kcr.ca.

Dawn Wilkinson is the coordinator for the Community Information and Volunteer Centre. Go to www.kcr.ca for other volunteer opportunities in the Central Okanagan.

250-763-8008, ext 24



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