Red Deer kicked off the beginning of national volunteer week at Parkland Mall on Saturday. Volunteers were encouraged to come visit, enter raffles, and look into other organizations offering different volunteer opportunities.

“This event is a volunteer and community information fair to kick off national volunteer week which is April 7th to 13th…” explained Pam Snowdon, executive director at volunteer central, “We have about 35 different non-profit organizations here. So, they are connecting with the public talking about all the good stuff that their organizations are doing in the community right now but also recruiting volunteers.”

After the Canada Winter Games, it is no secret that Red Deer is filled with many giving people. In total, Red Deer saw approximately 5,000 volunteers for the games; however, now that the games are over, they may be looking for other opportunities.

“We were very fortunate following the Canada Winter Games to download nearly 4,800 names of volunteers from the games who are now looking for their next best opportunity. They had such a blast volunteering for the games and they’re wondering, ‘what can I do next?’” said Snowdon.

Canada Winter Games volunteers were able to participate in the raffle after showing up to the fair wearing their Winter Games swag, but all volunteers were celebrated and encouraged to check out the available opportunities.

“We’re celebrating all volunteers and not just the volunteers that work in formal programs for community organizations but people that just do random acts of kindness. People who voluntarily go next door and offer to pick up the mail for a neighbour while they’re on holidays, or shovel their walk, and cut their grass.”

Snowdon believes that Canadian culture is a large part of why people can find it in them to donate their time and energy to these organizations, programs, or simply just a neighbour in need.

“Canadians are known around the world for our friendliness and for our good deeds. We’re known as peacekeepers and we really see that in the volunteer sector.”

Volunteer Central encourages people to volunteer and check out the available opportunities on their website. If you are looking to volunteer, or learn more about Volunteer Central, click here.