Apr. 26 – Giving The Most
Giving The Most
Last week we celebrated one of our favourite times of the year at Winnipeg Harvest—volunteer appreciation week. It’s a week filled with snacks, bingo, karaoke and celebration for the thousands of volunteers that make us part of their community every month.
With approximately 35,000 volunteer hours monthly, it’s not lost on me how vital our volunteers are to the success of our mission. We see school groups and children’s birthday parties make Winnipeg Harvest part of their traditions, young adults and families helping out as part of a way to give back to their own communities, and many people, from all walks of life, who believe it’s important to be part of something that helps others.
Something many people may not realize, however, is that a considerable amount of our volunteer force is made up of retired and semi-retired men and women. Many of these volunteers find themselves with more free time than they’re used to and are still full of energy and vigour. We’ve been incredibly lucky with the kind of volunteers that choose to make Winnipeg Harvest their community.
Just last week, two very long-serving volunteers, Len and Phyllis Wiebe received the Lee Newton Memorial Award for Volunteer Excellence for their incredible efforts as delivery drivers—with more than 10,000 hours volunteered, no one would guess they’re 80 and 81.
We’re also supported by hundreds of corporate volunteer groups who take time from their days and evenings to represent their places of work in our fight against hunger. A number of these groups have been volunteering for more than a decade together and have built stronger relationships among themselves by helping us out.
I really can’t say enough great things about our volunteers. People from all walks of life, socioeconomic backgrounds, and points of view have made us part of their lives, and in doing so help us to share food with hungry Manitobans and make an impact against food insecurity in our province.