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Bidding with the gift of time

Time-raising event seeks volunteers, not money

Money is difficult for a university student to part with, but time is easier to give.

“We can contribute our time, which is just as valuable in a lot of ways,” said Marguerite Heyns, a University of Victoria student.

She and several others last year bid hours of their time, rather than their dollars, for a time-raising event that benefits local non-profit organizations.

“Volunteers become a huge asset for so many organizations,” Heyns said.

She and a group of friends will attend Volunteering with Benefits, an event put on by the United Way’s branch of 20 to 30 year olds called United Now.

The event holds a silent auction. Attendees, instead of bidding the highest dollar for an item, bid with their time, which they donate to a non-profit.

“This was about giving people the chance to get a very small taste of what it was like to work with our community partners,” said Lilaine Galway, community impact associate with the United Way of Greater Victoria.

Tickets to last year’s event sold out and 290 volunteer hours were raised. Galway said United Way is flexible with when those hours can be donated and to whom.

Heyns donated her hours to the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, based at UVic. She works with the organization normally and after Volunteering with Benefits, put on an awareness day at the university, including speakers, information about HIV/AIDS and getting students to distribute condoms.

For her time, she won a stay at Hotel Rialto.

Heyns will return for the event this year, April 15 from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. Tickets are $10 and include eats, speakers and door prizes.

“It’s a great opportunity to meet people in the community who are involved in similar things,” Heyns said.