April 7 - 13 was National Volunteer Week (NVW). It is a time to celebrate and thank Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers.
This year, Volunteer Canada spearheaded a national campaign called "The Volunteer Factor - Lifting Communities", encouraging communities to recognize the collective efforts of volunteers and the multitude of actions taken locally to help lift their communities.
An excerpt from Volunteer Canada reminds us, "You never know what can give others a lift during a difficult day. Someone spontaneously pays for your coffee or lets you go ahead of them in line at the grocery store. Maybe a neighbour shoveled your walk after a storm when you were healing from surgery. Maybe you asked someone to join a board of directors of the neighbourhood association and they said yes! What is behind this… it’s the Volunteer Factor!"
We reached out through our social media channels and asked for the names and stories of volunteers in our community that we could recognize and thank during this special week.
Meet these amazing community volunteers.
From left to right: Mary-Em Waddington, Trevor Beggs, Narima Dela Cruz, Cindy Dalglish, Upkar Tatlay, Nicole Kaler and Niovi Patsicakis
As the Chair for the Surrey Chapter of Canadian Parents for French, Mary-Em works to bring additional cultural events and volunteer opportunities to French language learners in the school district, as well as advocating for increased access to French Immersion.
As a member of the SurreyCares Community Foundation communications committee, Trevor interviews non-profits and charitable organizations serving our community and writes about their work.
Narima Dela Cruz
For more than a decade she has been spearheading the many activities of "SPIDS" the Surrey Philippine Independence Day Society. Narima is also a volunteer language translator and interpreter for Options Community Services and served on her children's school PAC.
Cindy works to highlight systemic and local issues surrounding education. She also works to highlight the discrepancies between infrastructure and growth in our community.
Upkar has been volunteering his time and energy for over a decade changing the lives of vulnerable youth and guiding them to great successes. His efforts begin with athletics and evolve to scholastic assistance and exposure to post secondary academic institutions and the STEM fields.
Nicole works with BCEdAccess Society - Action for Access to Education. Nicole is a tireless advocate for inclusion and meaningful access to education for students in Surrey and across BC. and has worked to present that information at all levels of government.
Niovi serves on the boards of Surrey Hospice Society and Surrey Global Peace Alliance. She also runs a parent support group for gifted and learning disabled children in Surrey.
And of course, we kicked off the week celebrating and thanking our hard working volunteer Board of Directors.
Left to right:
John Lawson, Board Chair
Debbie MacDougall, Vice Chair
Jeff Hector, Past Chair
Linda Stromberg, Communications Chair
Sonia Parmar, Treasurer
Sue Anderson, Director
Mike Bose, Grant Program Chair
Peter Unruh, Director