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Dozens of community organizations come together for 1st Esquimalt Volunteer Fair

From Girl Guides to RibFest, organizations are looking for more residents to get involved
Dozens of Esquimalt residents went to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre for the first ever volunteer fair on Thursday, April 18. (Bailey Seymour/Vic News)

Dozens of Greater Victoria volunteer organizations gathered at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre to promote local volunteering opportunities during National Volunteer Week.

On Thursday, April 18, Esquimalt residents had the opportunity to meet with community organizations in an effort to get more people involved if their community.

“One of the best benefits of the youth becoming involved in volunteering with Girl Guides is to build skills as a teenager, that they’ll be using throughout their adult life,” said Colleen McKenna, a provincial commissioner for Girl Guides. “It’s the sense of being part of a community and giving back to the community is the biggest thing.”

Dave Allen, a former high school principal and representative for RibFest, said the best way to get involved in your community is through volunteering.

“Communities can’t do it all on budgets and so on, you got to have people working together,” he said. “Just the sense of pride that you get is really something.”

Over the past decade, Allen said RibFest has contributed over $1 million to the Esquimalt community through the Firefighters Charitable Foundation and the RibFest Society, and last year over 300 people came from Washington State for Ribfest, which is a significant boost to the local economy.

McKenna said although there was a dip in parent volunteers wanting to get involved over the COVID-19 pandemic, numbers are now stabilizing again.

According to Volunteer Canada, National Volunteer Week is from April 14-20, and it aims to “highlights the importance of every volunteer and each contribution they make at a moment when we need support more than ever. The sharing of time, skills, empathy, and creativity is vital to the inclusivity, strength, and well-being of our communities.”

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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