Irene Draper volunteer.

Irene Draper volunteer.

KCR: Celebrating volunteers and launch of Volunteer55

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

It’s National Volunteer Week and as the volunteer centre of the Central Okanagan, KCR Community Resources offers a huge shout-out to the many volunteers that make our community a better place to be.

Volunteers make a difference by sharing their time and skills with organizations that match their values and passions. Year in and year out, they give freely of their resources and in return they receive gifts of social connection, creating impact and building skills. As with everyone else, volunteers felt the effects of the COVID pandemic.

Many were initially sidelined but very soon persisted and found new ways to give.

They didn’t let a global pandemic keep them down. For their unconditional giving and their resilience, we want to say thank you to the thousands of volunteers in the Central Okanagan that continue to show up and be present.

During this week of celebration, we are excited to announce a new series in partnership with the Kelowna Capital News and Black Press, where we get to share some of the stories of these volunteers and to share news of volunteer opportunities with organizations in the region. Look for these stories every Thursday in the newspaper and online. If you want us to share news from your organization, please send Dorothee an email at or call 250-763-8008 x254. Thank you to the Kelowna Capital News team for making this possible!

KCR is also launching a new program Volunteer55 that highlights amazing volunteers aged 55 and better, who are prime examples of what incredible gifts volunteers are to our community.

For our first week, meet Irene Draper who has been donating her time for 76 of her 85 years. Irene volunteers with International Students, for the Care Team at Mission Creek Alliance Church, the Spiritual Care team KGH, and aids in the resettlement of families that are new to Canada.

“The truth is that every time I respond to someone in need of encouragement I end up being encouraged and filled with joy. Volunteering with children gives me the opportunity to enjoy life through their actions and reactions,” she said.

“Volunteering definitely improves my wellbeing as the children provide good reasons to tramp around in the snow, go for a swim and laugh at their antics. Volunteering makes me get going in the mornings.”

To find your next volunteer opportunity go to

READ MORE: Central Okanagan community organizations celebrate volunteers

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