Sharon

KCR: Volunteering is making a difference

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

Sharon Shepherd grew up learning about volunteering through her parents, both of whom were active in their community of Revelstoke. “My mom at 88 still participates in a number of organizations,” she explains proudly.

From high school on, Sharon has been actively volunteering in school parent groups, neighbourhood associations and sports team management. Her path eventually took her to politics and she was a City Councillor for nine years before serving two terms (six years) as Kelowna’s Mayor. Sharon was manager for her husband Mike’s medical practice for over 40 years and is an Honorary Fellow for Okanagan College.

Her commitment to community and public service continues today as a volunteer with the Poverty and Wellness Strategy for the Central Okanagan Leadership Committee, Sports Hall of Fame, CFUW-Kelowna (Canadian Federation of University Women), East Meets West Board, Wild Things Board, December 6 Vigil and ETSI-BC (Economic Trust of the Southern Interior) as a provincial appointee. “I feel that as a volunteer I can contribute my skills and knowledge and desire to “making a difference”.

“Volunteering is an opportunity to meet new people that have similar interests and passions,” says Sharon, noting that while there aren’t really enough hours in the day to do everything, “the time and effort it takes to make a difference can be as little or as much as one can dedicate. The rewards will be amazing.”

Sharon and Mike celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year and love being Nana and Papa to their grandchildren.

Are you looking for a way to make a difference? Our volunteer platform VolunteerConnector, allows you to choose your passion and areas of impact to help you find the right organization to connect with. The Kelowna & District SHARE Society just joined and is offering three great opportunities. Kaitlyn Hilder is the Program Services Coordinator and she sees volunteers as the heart of the team. “Volunteers who join the team get experience in the workplace, along with a reference. They will meet people and help those in need to get involved in the community,” says Kaitlyn. “Many volunteers come in with a goal, like building confidence or learning about customer service. We want to help volunteers meet their goals while helping to SHARE help Kelowna.”

If you are interested in joining SHARE, they are having a special Volunteer Orientation this Saturday, January 15 at 1:30 pm. They will be following COVID safety protocols and welcome you to their organization at 581 Gaston Ave at 1:30 pm. As always you can also check out the VolunteerConnector at www.kcr.ca for more info.

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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