Volunteering has always been a part of life for Yellowhead County’s residents. Our first schools and churches were raised by the generous hands of our forefathers, who knew that solving the issues of the day required community cooperation.
And we uphold their legacy still. Countless community groups rely on the selfless work of residents like yourself to keep their groups going—to serve the needs of your community. Whether that’s organizing a children’s sporting league, a seniors’ social club, a local food bank, the local community hall or a faith community.
The richness of our communities depends on these groups and the volunteers that commit their time to make them run. It’s not always obvious that volunteers are at work, but it is safe to say that when things are going smoothly in your community, there’s a number of generous hands at work.
But we’re running into hardships. In general, Alberta is seeing a decline in motivated volunteers. In 2015, 61% of adult Albertans indicated that they volunteered through an organization, a 7.5% decrease from 2014. We can be proud that nearly 2/3 of Albertans volunteer, but our volunteer force has been further impacted by an unforeseen health crisis.
As the pandemic continues, many community groups have now found alternative ways to offer their services and include volunteers. They have a better grasp of how to organize in the face of a health crisis, and how to engage volunteers safely. Perhaps you too were once an eager volunteer, but are still put off by the uncertainty of this situation.
Then you should know that there are many ways to volunteer—not just in person. And there are many organizations that would love to empower your dedication, skill, or talent in a meaningful way. And so we at Yellowhead County’s Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) encourage you to take a second look at being a helpful hand.
If you’re looking for a local organization to volunteer with, don’t hesitate to call us for direction at 780-325-3782. If you’re looking for general information about volunteering, click here. If you’ve taken some first steps in organizing a volunteer-based group, and want to know more about organizing a board or running a non-profit, click here.
In the following months, Yellowhead County FCSS will be sharing some local stories and topics for thought on volunteerism. We invite you to offer your feedback and thoughts as we share these stories on our Facebook page, @YellowheadCountyFCSS. We want to know: Why do you volunteer?