When you volunteer, you are ultimately always part of a team – whether you are one of hundreds of volunteers helping at community events (pre- and post-COVID or course) or you are a researcher working at home alone, you are ultimately part of the team that helps achieve a greater mission. For our Volunteer 55 Ambassador Jeff Stewart, volunteering is a complete “win-win”. Inspired by the spin instructors at the YMCA in Edmonton, Jeff decided you are never too old to learn and became a spin instructor 64.
“As a volunteer, I have the chance to give back to the community and stay active,” explains Jeff. “I took spin and other classes at the YMCA in Edmonton for years before realizing that these classes were lead by volunteers. The dedication and enthusiasm they showed is what I hope to bring to my classes.”
Originally from Ottaway, Jeff came to Kelowna via Charlottetown, Lethbridge and Edmonton. In addition to volunteering at the Y, Jeff is also a server at Kelowna General Hospital. Volunteering through COVID has meant being flexible and to have a sense of humor. With spin classes being virtual, technical difficulties resulted in one of Jeff’s favourite volunteering stories.
“I am all thumbs when it comes to technology,” he shares. “There always seems to be something unplugged or not activated to run the livestream for the classes each week. The music drives the pace. When the music was lost, a participant asked me to sing. It did not go well!”
“What I have learned through others is that volunteering is a team effort. There is sense of community and support out there,” he adds.
One of the key teams for non-profit organizations is the Board of Directors. As June is a month where many non-profits have their Annual General Meetings, we wanted to give a big shout-out to all of the volunteer directors that share their knowledge, skills, passion and time with organizations driven to make a difference in our communities. During the past year, they have been challenged to be more present and available to guide their organizations and support their teams. We want to especially recognize our KCR directors, who have shared so much while also navigating the pandemic in their professional and personal lives. Thank you to: Laura Thurnheer, President; David Brown, Vice-President; Bill Thompson, Treasurer/Secretary; Rob Peter, Past President; and Directors Michelle Rogers, Peter Boyd, Beth Flynn and Gillianne Richards.
For more information or to register go to www.kcr.ca/volunteer or give Emily a call at 250-763-8008, ext.141.
Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources, a multi-service agency offering programs and services to meet community, family and individual needs. KCR is home to the Volunteer Centre of the Central Okanagan. You can contact Dorothee at 250-860-4911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.