Discover Burlington Ontario

National Volunteer Week 2018

by Pam Belgrade

April 15 – 21, 2018 is National Volunteer Week, so it is the perfect time to recognize, celebrate and thank volunteers.

Thank a Volunteer or better still…get involved as a volunteer yourself!

Have you thanked a volunteer today? – Did you know that there are more than 13.3m volunteers in Canada who contribute 2 billion hours of time every year. Imagine what our Burlington community would look like if all of that went away!

Here at Tourism Burlington we have volunteers on our Board of Directors who help direct and guide us to ensure that we continue to be a vibrant and successful organization.  They get up bright and early for board and committee meetings (and for the home made goodies J), weed through mountains of minutes, agendas and reports and make presentations in support of Tourism Burlington.  We also have volunteer travel counsellors who welcome visitors to our information centre and assist with a variety of daily tasks from welcome packages, to brochure ordering, staffing trade show booths to updating information and doing research.  Thanks to Elaine, Lorraine, Anna, Wendy and Cheryl and to a new volunteer who just started with us Rhoda.  Having these volunteers come in brightens our week and adds new life and energy to our office.  We have also had students from various educational institutions do volunteer placements with us and we keep them busy greeting and helping visitors and they also assist with various research projects and events.  This month we have Stephen from Mohawk College Tourism program doing a two week placement and he has jumped right in helping us with guide distribution, blogs and many other initiatives.  During National Volunteer Week our dedicated volunteers will receive a token of appreciation from Tourism Burlington (usually something tasty from a local business).

Locally Burlington is very fortunate to have so many dedicated and active volunteers.  All of our tourism attractions have volunteers who support their efforts and enhance their services.  At the world renowned RBG you can become a member of the Auxiliary or volunteer with major events and projects throughout the year.  At Conservation Halton you can get involved in a number of educational and volunteer programs to help improve our watershed.  You can become a Friend of Bronte Creek and be an interpreter, gardener, event planner or fundraiser. At the Art Gallery of Burlington they are looking for dedicated people to run tours and be gallery attendants, help in the gift shop (if only I had the time but my pocketbook would suffer) and assist with classes and their fabulous events.  At the Burlington Performing Art Centre they have numerous volunteer opportunities , from ambassadors, ticket collectors, ushers, coat check attendant and merchandise assistant.  If you like to make history come alive then volunteering at Joseph Brant (temporarily closed for renovations) or Ireland House Museum would be the perfect fit.  You can chose from tour guide, exhibit and event assistant, researcher, librarian, and many other positions.  Many of our festivals also require hundreds of volunteers not only to help plan but to successfully execute these great events that we all enjoy.  Contact Sound of Music, Canada’s Largest Ribfest, Canada Day, Burlington BeerFest, Chilly Half Marathon, Santa Claus Parade, Santa 5K Run, Doors Open just to name a few.  You can also check out the City of Burlington Events volunteer page for other opportunities.

Sound of Music Volunteers

Sound of Music Volunteers

Of course like Tourism Burlington all of these organizations are overseen by a volunteer board of directors and some have Foundation Boards too, so if you are more a strategic thinker contact them for details about their governance.

In addition to these suggestions you can contact Volunteer Halton for numerous other ideas and to fit your skills and availability to local organizations.

So please thank a volunteer not just this week but whenever they assist you and consider giving back yourself by becoming a volunteer.

Here’s to all volunteers, those dedicated people who believe in all work and no pay.  ~Robert Orben


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