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Volunteering moments, celebrations, limited spaces

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:21 PDT, Wed April 10, 2024

A map of Richmond’s volunteer moments

National Volunteer Week is almost here. Happening April 14 - 20, the annual celebration of Canada's culture of service is—it goes without saying—one of our favourite times of the year.

In 2024, the theme is Every Moment Matters, which we love because it's so expansive. You can count Canada's total number of volunteers, and even the number of hours they contribute. But the meaningful moments that emerge from acts of service? That's something you can't quantify.

Think of the senior who lights up during conversations with a volunteer visitor. Or the young athlete who improves their performance and gains self-confidence thanks to the patient instruction of a volunteer coach.

Whether fleeting or long-lasting, these are the moments upon which community is built. They happen every day, all around us, too numerous to count. And in every case, volunteers make them possible.

Here at RCRG, we're celebrating National Volunteer Week with a public art project. As a first step, we worked with local illustrator Cartoon Katie to create a map of Richmond, featuring several notable landmarks.

We've since printed a large-scale version of the map—7 feet wide by 5 feet tall—and have begun decorating the border with volunteer photos, submitted by various community organizations.

The photos are a visual representation of the volunteer moments that connect and strengthen our community. While we could never highlight every act of community service, we've done our best to capture the vibrant diversity of Richmond's volunteer spirit, which encompasses all ages and cultures and backgrounds.

Throughout National Volunteer Week, the map and photos will be on display at the Richmond Caring Place, giving you a chance to see the artwork up close and in person. We'll also be sharing the photos, along with accompanying stories and descriptions, on our social media channels.

Together, let's turn National Volunteer Week into an unforgettable moment, marked by gratitude and appreciation for all the Richmond residents who give their time so that our community can shine.

Celebrating the volunteers who support Richmond seniors

On March 15, we held an appreciation lunch for the volunteers in our Seniors Community Support Services program.

It was a springtime theme, with bright colours everywhere you looked: the tablecloths, the balloons, even the cans of Bubly.

Much to our delight, over 90 volunteers were in attendance. Their roles ranged from grocery shopping assistants to delivery drivers, from friendly visitors to information & referral counsellors.

In fact, that was the coolest part of the event. Though all supporting the same program, many of the attendees had never met each other, as they volunteer in different areas. The lunch was an opportunity for them to connect and learn about their respective roles. Most of all, it was a chance to bond over their shared experience: as volunteers, they've each helped seniors stay healthy, independent, and socially engaged.

Kudos to our Seniors Community Support Services staff team for organizing such a wonderful event. Throughout the year, they work alongside our volunteers, and know better than anyone the transformative impact they have on the lives of older adults.

And so, while the event was a major undertaking, the team wouldn't have had it any other way. It was the heartfelt thank you our volunteers deserved.

Spaces are limited (REALLY)

We're going to come clean: on occasion, we use marketing speak. When promoting a workshop or event, we might say that "spaces are limited" or "only a few spots remain." These phrases are meant to create a sense of urgency, prompting people to sign up right then and there.

The thing is, they aren't always true. There may, in fact, be plenty of spaces remaining. But if we told you that, would you register? Probably not right away. And in the meantime, you might forget about the workshop entirely.

By embellishing the truth, marketing speak can provide the gentle nudge needed for people to take immediate action.

Having lifted the veil on one of our promotional secrets, we want to briefly mention our upcoming Volunteer Management Training Series, for which spaces truly are limited. Registration has been brisk, and even though the course doesn't start until June, fewer than five spots remain.

This isn't a marketing ploy. It isn't a clever ruse to get you to sign up this very second. We merely want to tell you that other people are signing up—far faster than normal—and if you'd like to be part of the course, it might be a good idea to register today. In a few weeks, the opportunity could be gone.

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