National Volunteer Week – April 7 to 13.
April 7th marks the beginning of this year’s National Volunteer Week. In Ontario, 44 percent of those aged 15 and older volunteered each year in some capacity. For London, that translates to just over 140,000 volunteers. StatsCan reports that volunteers put in an average of 166 hours of service each per year meaning that, in our city alone, volunteers contributed over 23 million hours of their time to our community. That’s the equivalent of nearly 13,000 full-time jobs! This is nothing short of phenomenal.
Our city owes an immense debt of gratitude to those who selflessly give their time to make our city even better. Whether that be through church groups, service clubs, kid’s sports, scouting and guiding, community associations, and the countless other ways you find to contribute, know that you are making a difference.
In this edition of the Wortley Villager alone, there are articles highlighting the great work of several volunteer efforts in our community including London’s Circles program, Thames River clean up initiatives, Adopt-a-park activities, tree planting for Arbour Day and the recent Old South Community Organization Chili Cook-off.
There is no shortage of ways to get involved through volunteering. In the coming months, the City of London (http://london.ca) will be seeking applicants for a number of citizen advisory committees covering topics including housing, the environment, accessibility, transportation, heritage, and diversity. This is a great way to help shape municipal policy in London.
This month, ReForest London (http://www.reforestlondon.ca) will be posting a number of spring community tree planting events on their website and I know they would love to have some extra hands to help reach their goal of planting one million trees in the Forest City. Speaking of planting trees, the City is also offering the ‘Tree Me’ grant program (http://london.ca/treeME) with grants of up to $3,000 for groups of neighbours wishing to get together and plant trees on private property.
Pillar Non-Profit Network is an umbrella organization representing the non-profit sector in London. They keep an updated inventory of countless diverse volunteer opportunities with organizations throughout the city on their website at https://pillarnonprofit.ca/volunteer.
Finally, April 27thmarks Community Clean Up day when we can all roll up our sleeves and help to tidy up our parks and riverbanks together.
This Volunteer Week, I hope you’ll join me in recognizing all those who share their valuable time to help our environment, our children, our seniors, and our community. On behalf of our neighbourhood and our city, I want to thank you for all that you do each and every day!
As originally published in the Wortley Villager