Impact of volunteering hard to grasp

Over the past week individuals have experienced the shopping deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday was observed and many donated to their favourite charity.
Today I ask you to consider volunteering. In each column I speak about the hundreds of agencies and programs throughout the community that rely on the support of volunteers.
We hear the statistics that one in five people will require the support of a program or service either themselves or a family member, but what does that mean?
One year ago a series of events put it all into perspective. In the time span of a few days I went from not feeling well to being told I had a series of heart attacks to requiring triple bypass surgery, in a matter of no time life changed. After two weeks in the hospital it was time for me to go home and continue my recovery process.
Over the next few months I required someone with me 24 hours a day, seven-days-a-week to cook, clean, provide personal care and drive me to numerous appointments. I was extremely lucky to have an amazing network and support of family and friends, but for the first time I truly understood and thought about the individual that is on their own. What about the family and individual that need to depend on the support of agency programs such as transportation, Meals on Wheels, visiting programs, telephone reassurance programs? Volunteers are so vital to not only the success of agencies but also the health and wellness of individuals in the community. So I encourage you to consider getting involved in a volunteer opportunity today,
It is the time of year when we are busy preparing for the holiday season. Many years ago VIQ introduced our Christmas Tree program to assist families in the community to make the holiday season a little less stressful. Over the past seven years this program has grown based solely on demand. If you know of a family in need of this program please contact our agency, together we can make Christmas morning special.
We are currently in need of tree decorations, tree skirts and tree toppers.
All volunteers are invited to join us on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Quinte Gardens Retirement Residence located at 30 College St. West in Belleville for our Annual International Day of the Volunteer Celebration. Drop in and enjoy refreshments compliments of Quinte Gardens, Christmas carols, congratulations from local dignitaries and our guest speaker. This is a festive evening kicking off the Christmas season. We have numerous door prizes including the grand door prize of a round trip for two to Quebec City compliments of Via Rail Canada including two night accommodations from Williams Hotels and $200 meal allowance from the City of Belleville.
Over the next three weeks a number of agencies require volunteers to assist in a variety of events and programs. December is a very busy time of year and agencies need your support. For a complete list contact VIQ.
• The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association is currently seeking volunteers from PEC who would like to deliver Meals on Wheels. They are seeking drivers and passengers who can commit to as little as one hour a week.
• Community Care South Hastings is recruiting volunteers to assist with its annual gift wrapping event at the Quinte Mall the month of December during mall hours. Volunteer duties include gift wrapping purchases for customers, cashier etc. Individuals or groups are welcome to sign up for a shift. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
• Operation Red Nose is a designated driver service that operates on weekends now through to New Years’ Eve. Volunteer drivers drive the client’s vehicle; navigator rides in the car with driver and client. Escort driver escorts the driver and navigator. Volunteers are also required to answer phones, set schedules etc. Visit their website at for complete details or to register.

Volunteer & Information Quinte refers volunteers to over 260 agencies throughout Hastings & Prince Edward Counties. We are currently recruiting volunteers to fulfill the needs of our community. Please contact 613-969-8862 or visit our website at for more information volunteer opportunities and “Help Us Help Others”. VIQ is a United Way Member Agency.

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