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October 27, 2017 11:25 pm

New GM Calls Volunteers The Core of Prince George

Sunday, April 10, 2016 @ 6:50 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Today marks the start of National Volunteer Week in Canada, running through to Saturday, April 16 and the theme of the week is Volunteers are the roots of strong communities.

That sentiment is resoundingly echoed by the new General Manager of Volunteer Prince George, Sarah Foot.  As Volunteer PG marks its 25th anniversary, Foot says “I think it’s pretty clear, when the City has moved forward with a brand calling Prince George the “Volunteer City”, that volunteers are really the core and the roots of this community and there are so many things that wouldn’t happen without those volunteers in our city.”

Foot says the significant importance of the volunteer was very clear during the 2015 Canada Winter Games here.  “Absolutely.  I had the fortune of working with the team on the closing ceremonies and I know I’ve never felt as proud of a team as those individuals, and we had over a hundred volunteers for that one particular event during that two-week period.  So the 4500 individuals who came out from Prince George, as well as around the north, truly made the event I think.  You know every time you see a green jacket going around the city I think everyone gets a bit of a smile, because that’s recognition of how wonderful it was to be part of that.”

However, volunteers play just as significant a role in events that aren’t as large but are just as meaningful to the community and that come around, at least some of them, on an annual basis.  Foot says “I think if you look at Prince George there are events that are going on all the time.  I mean you could never be bored in this city because there’s always something going on.  And looking at all of those events a really high percentage are volunteer-driven and so, without individuals who’ve decided that they’re going to take up their passion and put it into that action, we wouldn’t have those events going.  So, just on an everyday basis, the things that we get to enjoy and participate in have volunteers at the core of them.”

The general manager says volunteerism works two ways.  “Those folks who are participating in those events, that adds to their quality of life.  But volunteering as well is really a huge benefit to your own personal health and can bring forward a lot of wonderful things such as making social connections and getting out and being active.  So there are just so many benefits individually that come with that so I think as a community that more people who can be engaged to be volunteers experience those personal benefits and then end up passing the benefits on to other folks who participate.”

Foot says with National Volunteer Week now underway “we are looking to connect with organizations and highlight what they’re doing to thank their volunteers.  We’re going to be going out, through our Facebook page and our website, putting those posts of other groups that are recognizing their volunteers.”

And for those who have thought about volunteering Foot says “I would urge them to contact us at Volunteer Prince George”, at volunteerpg@telus.net , on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerPG/ or by phone at (250) 564-0224.  “Our main aim is to find out what peoples’ interests are, their passions and their skills, and match them with a volunteer role in the community.  And that might be with an established organization or it might be with a project that they want to create on their own.”

“So we’re really here to provide that support and we truly believe that our role is to empower action with volunteers so that we can build this community.”  


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