Terry Scott. (Contributed)

Terry Scott. (Contributed)

KCR: Volunteering is being part of the solution

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Terry Scott has volunteered all of his adult life and has given back to the communities he has lived in as an RCMP officer for the past 35 years.

When he retired to Kelowna in 2009, Terry wanted to focus his volunteer efforts on helping those who were most vulnerable and felt the need to support those struggling with life on the streets and addiction.

The Kelowna Gospel Mission seemed like a perfect place to meet this need as Terry was a key volunteer there for over a decade. As Lead Volunteer for Guest Services, he helped clients with requests for laundry, coffee, access to locked areas and taking them to secure areas, and he helped train new volunteers.

When asked why he is motivated to volunteer, Terry states simply, “In part to give back to the community and to help those who are disadvantaged.”

“I get to be a person who listens to our clients’ concerns and gives advice where possible,” he continued. “I can help with referring clients to 12 step programs or treatment.”

Terry is strongly inspired by seeing the successes of those “who have come to terms with their addictions and are living clean and sober lives.”

“During my working career, I had little time to give follow-up assistance to the Homeless or addicted population,” he explained. “Through volunteering in this area now, I have experienced a feeling of being part of the solution.”

One of Terry’s favourite stories about volunteering is one that reflects the community and sense of connection clients and volunteers feel.

One summer day a few years ago, Terry rode his motorcycle to volunteer at the Gospel Mission and had left one of his saddlebags unlocked. When he returned to his bike, a pair of winter gloves were missing from the saddlebags.

Terry mentioned the incident to some clients and a week later, one of the clients returned the gloves to him saying, “Here, these are yours. Don’t ask any questions.”

In addition to the Gospel Mission, Terry has also volunteered for KCR Community Resources as a committee member for the Okanagan Volunteer Fair and as a settlement mentor. “Giving my time is the most valuable thing I can give,” said Terry. For new volunteers, Terry offers this advice: “Follow your passion. Volunteer in areas where your life experiences can be put to work.”

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This past weekend, KCR Community Resources was proud to host the very successful Okanagan Volunteer Fair, which saw more than 800 people network and connect to find volunteer opportunities that matched their passions.

Thanks to all of the participants, attendees, volunteers and sponsors for making this great event happen live and in-person again. You can check out the information on participating organizations in the fantastic Get Involved magazine produced in partnership with the Kelowna Capital News.

If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothee at dorothee@kcr.ca.

Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources.

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