Lifestyle

Volunteering gives to the giver

Question: Which age group volunteers at the highest rate in Canada?

Come to the Okanagan Volunteer Opportunities Fair on Saturday, Sept. 8, at Parkinson Recreation Centre, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., and try your hand at spinning the wheel and answering questions.

Answer: Youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years volunteer the most. Almost 60 per cent of B.C. youth volunteer an average of 146 hours each year.

Tanveer Gill is not surprised by this answer. She recently won the Young Female Citizen of the Year award given by the City of Kelowna.

“Five trips to India, helping people in poverty, have definitely helped me personally to become more globally and locally aware of people who need help,” said Gill

Question: Why are businesses becoming more involved with supporting employees to volunteer?

“Through our volunteer presence, we have also boosted the morale of our staff and brought them together as a team unit,” said Chris Holmes, Quality Greens co-founder.

Question: Is there such as thing as uber volunteers?

Answer: Yes, the top 10 per cent of these individuals contribute 52 per cent of the total volunteer hours in Canada.

“Volunteering keeps my brain active as well as my body, and at the age of 76 that is a good thing,” said Marie Ablett, winner of the City of Kelowna’s Woman of the Year for 2011.

Question: Can volunteering help newcomers to our community?

Answer: Yes. Whether you are moving from another province or from another country, volunteering can help you find a place to fit in.

“We know first-hand how frightening these adjustments can be and we want to make that transition easier,” said Ata Zahirfar, an immigrant to Canada who volunteered at Kelowna Community Resources (KCR) befriending newcomers.

Come to the Okanagan Volunteer Opportunities Fair on Sept. 8 at Parkinson Recreation Centre, 1800 Parkinson Way, in Kelowna. While at the fair, pick up your free copy of the Get Involved magazine published by Beyond 50 and read more about each of the people quoted in this article.

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