Alberta communities are gearing up for celebrations honouring the contributions of volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 23-29.
“There is not a single Albertan whose life has not been touched by the contributions of a volunteer. From delivering important social programs to supporting recreational and cultural activities, volunteers are giving freely of the time, talent and energy to make our communities stronger, better places to be. I encourage all Albertans to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the volunteers in their community during National Volunteer Week and explore how volunteering can enrich their own lives.”
Across Alberta, more than 90 communities will hold a range of events and activities to honour local volunteers, supported with funding provided by the Alberta government and administered by Volunteer Alberta.
“Communities across Alberta are stronger and more resilient, thanks to the many volunteers and non-profit organizations in our province. National Volunteer Week gives us all an opportunity to recognize and say ‘thank you’ to volunteers who are stepping up to support local organizations and initiatives.”
More than 70 per cent of Albertans volunteered with organizations in their community in 2015-16, contributing an average of 11 hours each month to support initiatives and programs that matter to them.
Volunteers support the work of Alberta’s non-profit voluntary sector. Based on the most recent statistics, the sector generates an estimated $9.6 billion in annual economic activity and employs more than 176,000 Albertans.
The Government of Alberta works to support the efforts of volunteers and volunteer organizations with funding support, organizational and leadership development opportunities and programming, including the Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards, which recognize Alberta’s exceptional volunteers.
National Volunteer Week was proclaimed in Canada in 1943 with special events in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver to draw the public’s attention to the vital contribution women made to the war efforts on the home front. In 1990, the third week in April was proclaimed National Volunteer Week, firmly establishing the event as the highlight of the year to pay tribute to Canada’s volunteers and to increase awareness of the important role of volunteers and nonprofit/voluntary sector and to encourage volunteerism in our communities.