National Volunteer Week is a time to recognize, celebrate and thank volunteers. Volunteer West Island will take the lead to inform all our partners on the importance of recognizing the men and women of all ages and backgrounds who contribute to making our community a more desirable place to live.
Imagine the possibilities! With volunteers and community groups working together, there are endless possibilities of making our community a better place to live, work and play!
Volunteering has long been a mainstay of West Island life. Volunteer West Island, the only volunteer bureau in the West Island, recruits volunteers for over 140 non-profit organizations. Through VWI’s Individual Volunteer Program, interests and availabilities of prospective volunteers are explored so as to help find the right volunteer opportunity for them.
Students from John Abbott College have led the way, helping community organizations through VWI’s Youth Volunteer Program. As well, many secondary schools encourage students to volunteer as part of their curriculum. Together with assistance from their school’s Community Officers, students decide which skills and strengths they want to further develop to make volunteerism a stimulating and enriching experience through VWI’s Youth in Action Volunteer Challenge, organized in collaboration with the West Island ridings of Nelligan, Jacques-Cartier, Robert-Baldwin and Marquette.
The Mission Statement of many companies includes the crucial component of social responsibility, in terms of giving back to the neighbourhood where they are located through company volunteer initiatives enabling employees to offer their time and energy to local non-profit groups. Volunteer West Island is fortunate to have a large number of dedicated corporate parters who contribute to the betterment of the community through VWI’s strong and growing Corporate Volunteer Program.
Volunteer West Island welcomes volunteers from all walks of life and areas of expertise, offering a wide variety of choices of Individual, Youth, and Corporate volunteer opportunities suited to every interest and schedule.
Volunteer West Island has something for everyone!
Begun as a collaborative initiative in 2007 and occupying a niche created by Volunteer West Island and JAC Professor Barry Reynolds, Community and Communication is a practical course focusing on volunteer work in a community context. A new group of students comes together each term to lend their energy and enthusiasm to local non-profit organizations. Due to growing demand on the part of students and community groups, and with the strong support of JAC Administration, Professor Reynolds has added additional sections to his course over the years, expanding it from one, to two, to three include a wide range of activities in a large number of non-profit community organizations, serving clients across the West Island. Something for everyone!
Professor Reynolds noted, “Thanks to the strong, ongoing support of the JAC Administration, the program has
flourished, each academic year seeing a rise in interest in volunteer work among students. The success of the “missionary” side of this course has been tremendously gratifying – students volunteer for only 12 weeks, but in fact, we see many continue to volunteer long after the course ends, while they’re at university, when they return to their home towns in Quebec, Ontario; our International students even report back that they continue volunteering when they return to their native countries Mexico, China, Germany. So I’m most proud of the fact that JAC and VWI, as partners, are exporting the values of volunteerism, community, and citizenship to other nations”.
Volunteer West Island Youth Coordinator Rachelle Fagen states that the young people involved in “this program that benefits students and community on so many levels are highly motivated and bring many valuable skills to the non-profit organizations in the West Island”. She reports that this semester there are three classes comprising 99 John Abbott students engaged in a multitude of activities in 22 community groups! These include
Autumn deepens and winter waits in the wings, the temperatures cool, our energy levels rise and we return to our familiar activities – back to school, back to work, back to sports and cultural programs. Life at Volunteer West Island follows a similar pattern.
It is important to support the many non-profit organizations that provide much-needed programs in the West Island. As Director Lynda Barrette states, at some point everyone in the community will need to access one of more of these crucial services. Seasons change, but needs remain. To learn more about Volunteer West Island’s programs and services and to explore the many volunteer options available, please visit VWI’s web site: www.cabvwi.org.
Are you a senior who would like hot meals served to you twice a week? Volunteer West Island has numerous programs and services for seniors, among them our signature program, Meals on Wheels. There are thirteen Meals on Wheels kitchens serving the boroughs and municipalities of the West Island, providing seniors with home delivery of hot meals twice a week. . The meals are prepared and delivered by friendly volunteers. The food is fresh, nutritious, and appetizing. Meal plans are rotated and varied
If you live in Kirkland, please call Madeleine directly at (514) 457-5445 ext. 225.