On Jan. 19, Agassiz’s community organizations will be banding together to search for the one thing they all need: volunteers.
“It was mainly the museum that came forward saying they have an aging volunteer group,” Jennifer Thornton, the District of Kent’s director of community services and projects, said.
“With them wanting to be more involved in the community, it was sometimes hard for them. So they thought about something like a coordinated volunteer fair in the community would be a good idea.”
Over several years, Thornton heard many organizations suggest similar ideas. So she began to organize a volunteer fair as an opportunity for organizations to share information about their volunteer opportunities.
“The idea was just to do a big collaborative effort in doing a call for volunteers and making a one-stop-shop,” Thornton said.
The fair will be held at the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre on Saturday, Jan. 19. Recreation programmer Kristen Patrice expects there to be around a dozen different community groups.
These will include the Agassiz-Harrison Museum, the District of Kent, various sport associations, RCMP victims’ services, the Agassiz Harrison Lions Club, Girl Guides organizations, Friends of the Library and others.
“It’ll be open to all ages and abilities,” Kristen Patrice, recreation programmer for the district, said about the fair.
The event will also feature a keynote speech from Chilliwack volunteer Steve Somerset on the importance of volunteering, and give organizations an opportunity to learn from residents what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to creating space for residents to share their time and skills.
But the most important part of the fair, Thornton said, is getting people to sign up to volunteer.
“We are hoping that people actually sign up and show their interest in volunteering for different programs and services and events,” Thornton said.
“Some (organizations) are absolutely powered, rely, depend on volunteers,” she said. “The challenge is in a community as small as Agassiz that it’s the same population, it’s the same volunteers.
“They can only do so much and there’s so much need. The idea is to spread the word,” she continued. “Even if it’s just an hour of your time, a little goes a long way.”
Residents interested in checking out the volunteer fair can visit the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre (6660 Pioneer Ave) on Saturday, Jan. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.