Volunteers are the soul of any non-profit organization and YW Calgary is no exception. Our work can only be done in concert with our committed volunteers, donors, community partners and women and their families. Each volunteer is a key component in helping YW achieve our mission to intervene, empower and lead where and when women need us most.
Since April 2018, 479 volunteers have dedicated more than 6,180 hours to support women and families at YW.
We offer a wide variety of volunteer opportunities at both the YW downtown facility and YW Sheriff King Home emergency shelter. We rely on volunteers to support our programs and services, collect and sort donations and assist with signature fundraising events. In addition, our highly experienced Board of Directors is staffed entirely by volunteers who have been recruited to fill specific roles to govern the organization.
To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we are sharing some quotes from our dedicated volunteers on why they choose to gift their time and talent to the woman and families at YW:
Why did you choose to volunteer with YW?
Harjeet: When I was looking for a place to volunteer and researched YW and I was drawn to its beliefs and values. YW programs and services support and empower women of all ages and ethnicities.
Tom: When I finished my career in the oil industry I was looking for somewhere to volunteer my time. I was interested in supporting new Canadians in learning English. I found the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Teaching Assistant volunteer opportunity fit what I was looking for, so I joined LINC. I felt this act was a very Canadian thing to do – to volunteer!
Sharon: People deserve to have something good happen to them that they do not expect. I do that by providing them with a cake made and decorated from scratch.
Shelley: When I retired, I thought about where I would donate some of my time in the not-for-profit sector. I was on the Board of Directors of The Chickwagon Foundation for Women when we voted to create our endowment fund with the YW. This brought the programs and services offered to Calgary and area women to the top of my mind. Reflecting back on this, my decision to volunteer my time with the YW was an easy one to make.
Becky: I like YW’s mission and its positive impact on women’s lives.
Why do you continue to volunteer?
Tom: Helping new Canadians learn English is important as many have excellent qualifications but can’t use them if they don’t know English.
Shelley: I continue to enjoy my interactions with folks as we join together for the various fundraising initiatives throughout the year. My personal favourite is Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. I love being an ambassador for this event!
Becky: The ladies I am interacting with are not reticent about voicing their appreciation of my efforts, and I feel I am helping them.
How do you feel your work is impacting the women and families at YW?
Harjeet: When I arrive on Tuesdays I am greeted as ‘Bingo lady’ – somehow my name has been changed – too funny. The families are happy. Families often come to the shelter with nothing. The simple things bring joy – a child gets a car or a toy so he has something to play with in his room later.
Sharon: I hope what I do gives them a smile.
Shelley: I like to think that by donating my time to the YW, I am making an impact on the women that benefit from the many programs available. I will continue my involvement and look forward to seeing the new facility up and running later in 2019.
Becky: I am helping them to release their stress and anxiety and maybe releasing some of the issues that are keeping them from moving forward.