Celebrating 2014 Volunteer Week

by Pandora Angelique Lee
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April 6-12, 2014 marks the 72nd celebration of National Volunteer Week.  This week recognizes the generous, compassionate, selfless, commitment and contribution of 13.3 million volunteers in Canada.  There are 161,000 not-for-profit and charitable organizations in Canada, of which, more than 50% have no paid staff and solely rely on volunteers.  As such volunteers are crucial contributors to the Canadian charitable sector and which has a great impact in the country.

2014 Volunteer Week - Toronto

Volunteer Canada’s Volunt-Hear Hotline

Volunteer Canada has partnered with Investors Group to establish the Volunt-Hear Hotline.  Individuals across Canada can call this toll-free number (1-855-372-5077) and leave a message which personally thanks volunteers.  Callers leave their a) Name and city/town; b) Name of volunteer(s) and what they are being thanked for; c) Describe how the volunteer(s) have made a difference.  These messages of recognition will be organized into Soundcloud playlists and these messages can be downloaded as audio files from volunteer.ca and shared over social media.

Furthermore, thank you Tweets with the #NVW2014 hashtag will be featured through a live feed on volunteer.ca.

“National Volunteer Week is significant because it recognizes the importance of volunteers by celebrating them and appreciating all of their remarkable work,” says Steve Tipman, President and CEO of Volunteer Canada. “It would be pretty difficult to find a Canadian whose life has not been touched by a volunteer in some way.”

“Investors Group believes in the value and importance of volunteering. We are proud to sponsor a campaign that encourages people to actively participate in recognizing volunteers,” says Murray Taylor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investors Group. “Saying thank you is simple, but it is also a strong way to recognize volunteers for the enormous impact they make in our communities and lives.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper thanked volunteers for their tremendous contributions to Canada and encouraged Canadians to increase their community involvement through volunteerism.  In addition, the Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development) encouraged Canadians to “take the time this week to thank a volunteer” as “their selfless efforts are not only making Canada a better place to live, they are creating a legacy of giving that will last for generations to come.”

National Volunteer Week volunteer week was established in 1943 to acknowledge the contribution of women during the war.  It was popularized in the 1960s when organizations recognized the importance of thanking volunteers for their time and talents that they provide to their communities.  Since then it has become the largest celebration of civic participation in Canada.


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