‘The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities’ is the theme during this year’s National Volunteer Week, April 7 – 13. We would like to thank our 143 volunteers at Kemptville & District Home Support (KDHSI) for their commitment to lifting communities, and to invite them to stop by the Centre and check out the ‘Appreciation Station’.
Canada was built with the vision and hard work of countless volunteers. Communities were, and still are, sustained by its volunteers. ‘Lifting communities’ can be done on a larger scale, and on a very individual basis. It can be as simple as smiling at someone, which acknowledges them as a valued person, and that they are seen and matter.
Why do people volunteer? When I asked a few of our volunteers here at KDHSI they responded, “I love it! The people I’m calling are so cheerful, and so are the people I’m working with”; “To meet new people”; and overwhelmingly, “To make a difference in my community.”
Volunteering is also good for a person’s health, studies have shown that volunteering gives a sense of purpose and increases people’s social network, which can help reduce stress and associated illnesses. As KDHSI volunteer Jim Heppell notes, ‘I think that anybody that is retired should volunteer. It is a healthy pursuit both mentally and physically. And, it is also rewarding to know that you can make a contribution!”
KDHSI volunteers are continually ‘lifting communities’ throughout their days. I hear it so often as I walk around the Centre. The volunteers are speaking with people as they come in to the Centre, or on the phone. I also receive calls and notes from our clients who are so appreciative of the support from the volunteers. They talk about the volunteers being so friendly; the fact that they couldn’t get to their appointments without the volunteers; they look forward to having a quick chat with all of the volunteers who deliver the Meals on Wheels; and the list goes on.
There are also reasons that people don’t volunteer, one reason given is that they have not been asked, accounting for 45% of those not volunteering! Many people volunteer with people they know, so, this is a challenge to invite your friends to check out volunteering opportunities with you.
The staff and volunteers at Kemptville & District Home Support welcome you to come and talk to us about joining our Team. There is a need for volunteers to drive people to appointments, to visit or call people on a regular basis, to deliver Meals on Wheels, to help out in the office by answering phones or other activities, or to visit with people in their homes. And, if getting out is not possible, there is also calling that can be done from your own home.
I know many of us who share this sentiment about our amazing volunteers, “No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another. Thank you.” ~Author Unknown
Until next time,
Susan Smith, Executive Director
Kemptville & District Home Support
215 Sanders St. Suite 101