volunteer fair

KCR: Volunteer fair in Kelowna

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

So you know you want to make impact, but how?

If you have been following this series of volunteer stories and been inspired but now you are unsure of what your next steps are.

Maybe you have been a bit shy? Maybe you are hesitating because you want to find out more about different opportunities open to you?

Now is your time to act: Come to the Okanagan Volunteer Fair on Saturday, Sept. 18, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., at the Parkinson Recreation Centre and meet representatives from over 50 non-profit organizations actively recruiting volunteers to help them achieve their missions.

These organizations are from all sectors, from Lake Country to Peachland, so you can choose the community you want to give back to.

“Volunteers are the life blood of any non-profit organization,” said Ellen Boelcke, executive director for KCR Community Resources, which is home to the Volunteer Centre of the Central Okanagan.

“For our own organization, we annually benefit from more than 352 volunteers giving over 12,000 hours of their time, making a significant difference to the participants we serve.”

The Okanagan Volunteer Fair has been running for 24 years and always provides fruitful connections for volunteers and organizations. It’s also a great networking opportunity for the non-profit sector, where people enjoy seeing each and catching up. For this year, it is especially meaningful for people to meet in person.

“We asked organizations how they wanted the Fair to run this year,” explained Boelcke. “Overwhelmingly, they said they wanted to meet in person and have a chance to really engage with potential volunteers. Thanks to the continued sponsorship of our partners including the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Foundation, Interior Savings, the Kelowna Capital News and BellMedia, KCR is really proud to host the Fair again this year.”

To ensure everyone’s safety, the fair has implemented a COVID-Health and Safety Plan and will follow all Provincial Health Orders, including asking for proof of vaccination of attendees and for people to wear masks indoors. The fair set-up has also changed this year to facilitate social distancing and so will be using both indoor and outdoor space. So what are you waiting for?

When you choose to gift your time to the community and organizations, you also have the potential to gain so much personally. Most volunteers will tell you that they gain more than they give.

Their volunteer time connects them to the community, builds their social and professional networks, and enriches their lives beyond measure.

Join us at the Volunteer Fair this Saturday and make an impact. The event is free to attend and there is plenty of parking. Also check out the Get Involved magazine that is produced in partnership between the Kelowna Capital News and KCR Community Resources that details great stories of volunteerism and of the organizations participating in the Fair.

The VolunteerConnector helps volunteers find their passion and impact areas. To sign up, contact Emily at KCR Community Resources (emily@kcr.ca or www.kcr.ca).

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