KCR: Volunteerism gives back in many ways

These columns are contributed by the KCR Community Resources

Shonu Gosh is a humble, kind and spirited man who is convinced that volunteerism is infectious.

“Just try it once and you won’t be able to stop,” exclaims Shonu laughingly, while explaining what volunteering has taught him. “It has taught me how much I love Volunteering, how much joy and happiness I can bring to others and that leads to a sense of enduring fulfillment in my own being.”

Shonu loves to give back through the comfort of home cooked meals and delivers his famous Butter Chicken to people to cheer them up. He has also volunteered at Sun Pointe, David Lloyd Jones, KGH, Taste of Home, Rotary Club, Kelowna JCs, and many other places including as a Kelowna Centennial Ambassador during its celebrations in 2005.

At the time he had only been in Kelowna for a year but knew he wanted to continue his lifelong practice of volunteering. Shonu was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Kolkata, India and married his wife in Mumbai. They moved to Toronto in 1975 and lived there for 29 years before moving to Kelowna in 2004.

“It has been a blessing for us when we give. It comes back many fold to us,” says Shonu. “We came to Canada with not even money to go from the airport to the city. Unknown people have befriended us, given us, blessed us, in every possible way. I HAVE TO GIVE BACK. I must! That is what I have learned from childhood.”

If you are looking for ways to give back and you aren’t sure how to go about it, contact Ezra Grande, the Volunteer Centre Facilitator about KCR’s Volunteer4All program. The program is already having great success, with over 22 volunteers finding meaningful opportunities in the past few months. Funding for this program was provided by the Prospera Foundation, recognizing that volunteerism is not only a great way for people to be connected, to address isolation and to build skills, but also that volunteerism, may be a great bridge to meaningful employment.

Ezra is seeking both potential volunteers that are looking to get connected to great opportunities in the Central Okanagan, and organizations that may have volunteer opportunities open that they need to find people for. Participants can sign up to meet with Ezra to create a goal plan and discuss their skill sets and then she will try to match them with opportunities in the community. Organizations can connect with Ezra to share specific jobs and opportunities available with them so that she can help them find the perfect match.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Volunteers4All program can contact Ezra at ezra@kcr.ca or call 250-763-8008 x253. More information about the program is also available at https://kcr.ca/community-services/volunteers4all/.

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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