Groups seek to rebuild volunteer base

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Family Service Kent staffer Stacy Massato talks with Deb Pake about volunteer possibilities available within the organization. A total of 22 agencies took part in a volunteer fair at Hidden Hills Golf & Country Club last week as groups attempt to rebuild their volunteer numbers.

By Pam Wright
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Rebuilding.

That’s what many local nonprofits are doing when it comes to recruiting volunteers after the upheaval caused by COVID-19.

“We’re still trying to recover,” said Family Service Kent’s Marjorie Crew. “We couldn’t do normal things and work with seniors as we usually would during the pandemic shutdown.

“We faced one barrier after another and now we are in position to bring in new people,” she added. “We always need more volunteers as we don’t want our volunteers to burn out.”

Family Service Kent is currently looking for drivers. Volunteers are reimbursed 45 cents per kilometre in mileage and those donating their ride and their time don’t have to increase their insurance coverage either.

FSK was but one of 22 agencies that set up shop Nov. 1, at Hidden Hills Golf & Country Club volunteer fair designed to showcase the many volunteer options presently available.

St. Andrews Residence staff member Barb Noorenberghe said the agency’s volunteers play a vital role helping local citizens through the Meals On Wheels program, and they are always on the hunt for more.

“It’s a great cause,” Noorenberghe said. “Growing old isn’t easy.”

The organization managed to keep its programs rolling throughout the pandemic and in fact saw the need for meals increase exponentially during COVID-19.

“Before the pandemic, we were serving about 2,000 meals a month and that went up to about 3,000,” Noorenberghe added. “Our volunteers are wonderful. Sometimes they were the only ones people in the community would see.”

Crew said it was great to return to a face-to-face format with the volunteer event and plans are in the works to form a volunteer network so all groups can work together.

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