April 19 to 25, 2020 is National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate and thank volunteers across Canada. This year’s theme is it’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers which rings true more than ever in light of COVID-19. This week, we want to make some noise by applauding our volunteers at YW Calgary – even during this unprecedented time, our commitment individually and together ensures that women and families at YW are supported.

In the past year, 132 volunteers contributed more than 3,900 hours to support women and their families at YW Calgary.

As our Volunteer Coordinator Sue always says, “volunteers are at the heart of it all.” For YW volunteers, the opportunities are extensive. In addition to supporting our programs, services and signature fundraising events, our volunteers have had more opportunities than ever before to be ambassadors for YW. From providing yoga classes for team members and community members to helping with Neighbour Day and the YW Hub facility Grand Opening event, we are proud to have our volunteers alongside us as faces of YW.

One volunteer, Monique supports YW Counselling clients by providing money management sessions each month, free of cost. She approached YW when she found herself looking for other places to share her expertise and felt that YW clients could benefit from her talks. “I always want to give back to my community in ways I can,” says Monique. After 10 years of volunteering with YW, Monique sees her impact. “Counsellors have mentioned that after my talks, clients have brought a budget sheet in to make a plan. For those who have never made a budget, it helps them start. For others, it validates how they did what they are already doing and encourages them to continue.”

Because of volunteers like Monique, clients are able to make a positive change in their lives. Thank you Monique, we applaud you!

Jocelyn, another YW volunteer works with St. John’s Ambulance and brings her therapy dog to YW Sheriff King Home to interact with the women and children staying at the shelter. “It makes me feel happy to make someone happy,” says Jocelyn, who adds that she loves to see the families and kids with a smile on their faces. Jocelyn and her therapy dog help women and children deal with stress and take a break from the disruption in their lives.

We are grateful for volunteers like Jocelyn who live our values and demonstrate what it means to be a caring organization. Thank you Jocelyn, we applaud you!

In addition, YW’s Board of Directors is staffed entirely by volunteers. Each member of this highly experienced group has been recruited to fill a specific role and brings governance and specific expertise to the organization. Kate Thompson, Chair, YW Calgary Board of Directors, shares that YW Calgary needs the help of the voluntary sector now more than ever. “Volunteers play an integral role in contributing to the sustainability of charities and not-for-profits,” says Kate. “I’m proud to be the volunteer Board Chair of YW Calgary. Thank you to my fellow volunteer board members and all volunteers of YW Calgary. Happy Volunteer Week!”

On behalf of YW Calgary, THANK YOU to our volunteers for their valuable support this past year. We will be celebrating you this week on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Your continued support of women and families in our community means so much. Happy National Volunteer Week!

Even during this challenging time, there are many ways you can continue to support YW. Learn more here.