Volunteering set me up to be successful with my future goals.
Volunteering can take many variations throughout one’s life even for those who are, or have been, in the volunteer engagement sector.
“I had completed college and was almost done my university degree. I was still feeling uncertain about my future path” says Katrina Burch, Team Lead, Mental Health Promotion and Education Services, Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA). “I decided to start volunteering at a few different places to learn more about the agencies, the careers and work that they do while building my professional network. I came to realize that I loved working with volunteers!”
Katrina’s passion for volunteers led her to roles with the Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington (now known as PIN – The People and Information Network) and CMHA where Katrina supported volunteers and student placements in Guelph Wellington. A key thread through those years has been her participation, support and leadership to the Volunteer Managers Network, a community of practice for leaders of volunteers.
“It is empowering and heartwarming to see people show up each day because they believe in the cause and want to build their community. Volunteering really set me up to be successful with my future goals” says Katrina. “Health Care, food security, homelessness, sports and recreation, inclusion, festivals – volunteers are doing this work! Our community has an increased level of well-being because of volunteers. We need strong, skilled leaders to support the volunteers and the VMN is a community of practice that strives to build excellence in these programs.”
“As a prior facilitator and current mentor with the Volunteer Managers Network, Katrina supports volunteer facilitators along with key team members to assist in the planning, facilitation and to act as ambassadors of the Network” says Christine Oldfield, Executive Director. “Katrina’s leadership has helped develop this community of practice and with Katrina’s extensive knowledge, experience and vision as a volunteer mentor, this network can continue to build leadership capacity.”
Nonprofit Leadership is one of the pillars of work of PIN. Along with Community Information and the Volunteer Network, PIN provides connections and leadership in Guelph and Wellington and helps people navigate essential community services, provides a hub for volunteer opportunities and engagement, and enables best practices and continuous learning for professionals in the non-profit sector.
“I hope to see the Volunteer Managers of Guelph Wellington continue to grow and develop skills that can be used to enhance their programs and achieve their personal goals” shares Katrina. This spirit of community and volunteer support is an incredible example of the vast opportunities to explore career paths, build your network and continue to grow as a professional. PIN is thankful to Katrina for her ongoing support; her zest for the voluntary sector and the support to leaders of volunteers to learn, connect and grow.
Learn more about volunteer opportunities with PIN, Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington (CMHA) and the Volunteer Managers Network.