By: Janis Cleugh, New West Record
Meeting new people.
Practising English or French.
Getting high school requirements.
Those are a handful of reasons why Tri-City residents give their time freely to help non-profits.
But, said Carey LePage, volunteer resources coordinator for the Coquitlam-based Community Volunteer Connections (CVC), the main driver for people wanting to step up to the plate is because they want to give back to their community.
On Saturday, representatives from about a dozen local groups will be at the City Centre branch of the Coquitlam Public Library, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., to recruit volunteers for specific or ongoing projects for the two jurisdictions that CVC serves: the Tri-Cities and New Westminster.
Held for the first time in partnership with the Coquitlam Public Library — and during CVC’s 45th year — the Volunteer Job Fair aims to bolster the CVC’s current base of about 300 helpers to assist with the operations at the library, as well as with the City of Coquitlam, the People’s Pantry Food Recovery Society, the Evergreen Cultural Centre and Place Maillardville Community Centre, among others.
LePage said CVC lost many volunteers when the pandemic lockdown hit last March; however, many events were also cancelled.
Now, with the provincial health restrictions easing, several groups are calling for volunteers with technology skills (to host Zoom meetings) or to help remotely with communication outreach.
For example, the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society is looking for a dispatch coordinator, “which can be done from the comfort of your home,” LePage told the Tri-City News last week.
Meanwhile, the library’s Ryan Jamieson said he’s searching for candidates for its new community advisory committee; it requires a commitment of two years.
LePage said potential volunteers should be at least 13 years old, show leadership and be approachable.
“We want people who will make others feel welcome.”
But for residents who can’t get to the Volunteer Job Fair on Oct. 2, they can sign up for the CVC weekly email to find new openings, she said.
For more information, you're encouraged to visit the Volunteer Connections website.