Alberni Valley volunteer fair returns Sept. 21

Many organizations in Port Alberni are facing the challenge of a lack of volunteers.

Wholesome Meals on Wheels volunteer Gail Acker loads a stack of totes filled with hot meals to deliver to home-bound residents in Port Alberni. Meals on Wheels will be one of several organizations at the Volunteer Fair on Wednesday

Many organizations in Port Alberni are facing the challenge of a lack of volunteers. Last year, staff from Better at Home organized a Volunteer Fair to address the issue, showcase local charities and non-profit groups and give residents a chance to sign up as volunteers. Its success has led to a similar fair being held Sept. 21.

“It was very well received and supported,” said Barb Stevenson, program coordinator for Better at Home. “Some of the agencies were able to recruit volunteers.”

One of those was Wholesome Meals on Wheels. The organization relies on volunteers to deliver hot meals to home-bound clients.

“Last year we saw new volunteers exploring areas of interest,” said Janet Buchanan, Meals on Wheels coordinator.

About 25 participating organizations were set up with information booths, ranging from sports clubs, health and wellness charities and service groups, but organizers have room for many more. Stevenson said Better at Home applied for and was granted Community Investment Program assistance which allows them to use Echo Centre for the event.

“We can handle about 45 to 60 groups,” Stevenson said.

The fair was launched last year after Stevenson and her staff were interested in pooling ideas together with other organizations and potentially open up a co-op-style volunteer bureau. The idea was to have a central place for residents to view volunteer positions and apply all in one spot.

There was interest, but with most groups focused on their own work, the idea has not progressed. Instead, the volunteer fair will be the place for agencies and volunteers to meet.

“That is the nature of the services industry,” Stevenson said. “People are busy. But this way, they can go and ‘shop’ for opportunities. I think the participants enjoyed it so much because they were able to connect with similar agencies that have been around for a long time, serving tangible needs. They may not have many resources but are carried fully by volunteers.”

“Whether it is a cause near and dear to your heart or a new endeavour, the opportunity is there,” Buchanan said. “Many volunteer positions take only an hour or so of your time on a weekly basis.”

The fair is free and all attendees will receive a package with a list of all participating agencies. Refreshments will be provided. It all takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 21 from 3–7 p.m. at Echo Centre. For more information, and to sign up as an organization (by Sept. 15), contact pabetterathome@shaw.ca or call 778-419-3000.

facebook.com/albernivalleynews

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

Port Alberni’s Arrowview Hotel will be demolished

City council chooses lowest of three demolition bids

VIDEO: Man found dead near Alberni teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18

Soapbox derby a success in uptown Port Alberni

Organizers say an adult racing category is coming for 2020

Alberni teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

Two Port Alberni teens are missing after their vehicle was found on… Continue reading

Watch the museum come to life with Our Town in Port Alberni

July 23 event takes place at Gyro Recreation Park

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Police ask for help locating missing men last seen in South Surrey

Jeep that Richard Scurr and Ryan Provencher were in has been located unoccupied in Logan Lake: RCMP

Islanders have new cancer screening option with $6.5 M diagnostic suite in Victoria

The Gordon Heys Family PET/CT Suite was unveiled at the BC Cancer Centre-Victoria

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

B.C. Ferries crew member’s medical emergency causes cancellations on Nanaimo route

One sailing from West Vancouver and one sailing from Nanaimo cancelled Monday

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Most Read