April 19 – 25, 2020 is National Volunteer Week, so it is the perfect time to recognize, celebrate and thank volunteers. This year’s national theme is “It’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers.” During this week thank your volunteers and consider getting involved as a volunteer yourself, there are so many meaningful opportunities in our community.Have you thanked a volunteer today? – Did you know that there are more than 12.7 Million volunteers in Canada who contribute almost 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 provide direction to ensure that we continue to be a vibrant and successful organization and our various committees. They get up bright and early for board and committee meetings (and for the home made goodies), 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, Rhoda, Wendy and Cheryl for all their support. Having these volunteers come in brightens our week. 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. During National Volunteer Week our dedicated volunteers will receive a token of appreciation from Tourism Burlington (usually something tasty from a local business).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 (reopening this summer after extensive revitalization) 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, 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.
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.