KCR

KCR: Make a connection at the Volunteer Fair

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources

The Okanagan Volunteer Fair is taking place at Parkinson Recreation Centre next Saturday, September 17 from 10-2 pm. If you have been looking for a way to get connected in the community, this is your best chance to meet and chat with representatives from over 70 organizations in one fun community event. The event is free and easy to access.

To help you get started, here are some questions you may want to ask yourself before you come to the Fair:

What Interests You?

Impact Areas:

 What do you believe are the most important problems or issues that need your help?

 What are you passionate about?

 What do you enjoy doing?

Clients:

 Do you want to work with individuals or groups?

 Are you interested in children, youth, adults or seniors?

 Are you interested in other languages and cultures?

 Do you want to work with newcomers to Canada?

Type of Work:

 What kind of work appeals to you? Do you want to be active and outdoors, or prefer indoors and an office job? Do you want to work virtually?

 Are you interested in: arts, culture, recreation, religion, education, research, health, human services, advocacy, social change, or public policy?

Scale:

 Are you interested in supporting a local, regional, provincial, national, or international organization?

Size:

 Are you interested in volunteering with a small organization or a large one?

Age:

 Do you want to support an organization that is just getting started or one that is already well established?

Few or Many?

 Do you want to give your time and talent to one organization or several?

Other Considerations:

 What length of commitment can you provide? (One day? One month? One year?)

 How many hours per month can you provide?

 Do you prefer to work at an event, on a project, or an ongoing program?

 Have you considered volunteering on a board?

Once you have narrowed down some of your choices, you can create questions you want to chat with the booth hosts about.

 What is their Mission Statement? Is this where you want to make an impact?

 What are their Values? Do they align with yours?

 What is the process and timeline for volunteering? Consider, you may be anxious to roll up your sleeves and get started right away, but organizations may have an eight-week onboarding process that includes getting a Criminal Record Check.

 What are their expectations of volunteers? Do their treat them like they are employees? Best practices dictate that they should – and that you should treat a volunteer role, just like a job.

So why give up that precious commodity of time? There are so many reasons and hopefully the stories we regularly share in the Capital News have shown that volunteers get so much out of sharing their skills and talents with their community. To name just a few:

Gain Work Experience

 Find a practicum or internship placement

 Try out a possible career change

 Get references

 Make new business contacts and network

 Learn work related skills

Help others because you’ve been there

 newcomers, single parents, youth, marginalized groups etc

Expand your social connections

 Volunteer with friends or make new ones

Seek Leadership Opportunities

 Offer to work on strategic plans or budgets

 Join a board member or advisory committee member

 Agree to supervise other volunteers or manage a program

Participate in Training

 Ask about the training provided

Grow as a Person

 Decide how you want to develop and change

 Seek volunteer opportunities that help you become the person you want to be

Volunteering connects you in so many ways … join us at the Okanagan Volunteer Fair on September 17 from 10:00 – 2:00 pm at Parkinson Recreation Centre to learn more. Thank you to our sponsors for making this great event possible: the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Foundation, Interior Savings, Bell Media and the Kelowna Capital News.

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at dorothee@kcr.ca.

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