The Value of Volunteerism and Building Forward Together
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
‘The Value of Volunteerism and Building Forward Together’
Guelph, ON – April 1, 2022
“We are all connected to a volunteer” says Kim Cusimano, executive director at PIN – The People and Information Network. “Your child’s sport coach, your youth’s mentor, meals delivered to your grandfather, drives for your mom’s cancer treatment; volunteers provide leadership through board service, they fundraise, plan and deliver events, programs and services that we interact with and support our community’s most vulnerable. Local nonprofits and charities leading missions powered by volunteers.”
Through the Statistics Canada General Social Survey on Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 12.7 million Canadians volunteer formally. 1.6 billion hours which would be valued at approximately $32.7 billion. In Ontario, there are 5 million volunteers donating 820 million hours: the equivalent of 400,00 full-time jobs.
“Volunteerism has impact” says Cusimano, “placing value on these efforts, appreciating and focusing efforts on investing in the future of volunteer engagement is key to building forward together. As the local hub of volunteerism since 2001, PIN acts as lynchpin to connect our community to meaningful volunteer opportunities and build capacity in the community benefit sector. We believe in the power and impact of volunteerism and the need for accessible, barrier free opportunities to contribute.”
Kim continues “The Ontario Government commitment to eliminate fees for levels 1 and 2 Police Records Checks is a step in the right direction. Individuals seeking to volunteer with children, persons living with disabilities, older adults, individuals new to Canada as example, will still require to pay for a vulnerable sector check. It is important for our community to have a clear understanding and PIN is happy to answer questions our community may have”
As an advocate for volunteerism and appropriate volunteer screening, PIN delegated to City of Guelph Council in 2020 and 2021 with the request to cover Police Records Checks for all volunteers in Guelph. With thanks to the leadership of Council and the value placed on volunteerism, this financial support has been an incredible investment into community through the pandemic.
Through two Community Benefit Sector surveys led by PIN over the last two years, there has been a noted 61% decrease in volunteerism, the same decrease noted through the Ontario Nonprofit Network State of the Sector reports.
“Investing in volunteerism is essential” says Cusimano, “reducing/eliminating barriers is key as is access and understanding of volunteer opportunities. We know key reasons why people do not volunteer; they don’t know where/how to contribute their time and no one asked them. PIN is here to help.”
As we move into April, PIN is pleased to launch the Caring Community Cards in appreciation of volunteers; a unique initiative that supports local. Appreciation for volunteers by business that value volunteers and shopping local by using the cards. In addition:
- PIN will be celebrating volunteerism during National Volunteer Week (NVW) April 24 – 30 with our annual ‘Time to Give’ on Friday, April 29. Welcoming Dr. Megan Conway, CEO, Volunteer Canada, Volunteer Awards and video caps off a weeklong appreciation of volunteers. Our community is invited to join us. Tickets available here
- The call for nominations is open for the Dr. William Winegard Exemplary Volunteer Involvement Awards which recognizes the contributions of U of G students, faculty and staff who are making our community stronger. Full nomination package available here
The theme of National Volunteer Week 2022 is ‘Volunteering is Empathy in Action” affirming the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy. “We have seen this caring and human kindness in action; the generosity of spirit is a shining light even in our recent dark times. Volunteerism is a connector, a powerhouse, a community asset.”