Volunteer Appreciation Week will have a different look in the community this year.

Jennifer Fynn, the programs manager for Family and Community Support Services, says after many years of hosting dinners to honour volunteers in the community, they’ve decided to help organizations have their own individual celebrations.

“Every year, National Volunteer Month is in April,” says Fynn. “And Volunteer Appreciation Week would be April 14-21 this year.”

Fynn says the change in how the program is done this year isn’t due to anything in particular. She says the group just wanted to try something different.

In the past, organizations that wanted to participate had to register with FCSS and then purchase tickets to the event. This year, organizations can purchase Chamber Cash Vouchers for a discount and decide how they would like to recognize the hard work of their volunteers. 

“They can purchase the $50 vouchers for $15 each, and then they could host their own event, maybe have it catered, and make it their own,” says Fynn.

She says that so far the groups they’ve talked to have all had different ideas for how they wanted to show their appreciation, and Fynn says it’s been encouraging to see them personalizing the event.

While the Town’s budget had to face some cuts this year, Fynn says her budget hasn’t changed and it wasn’t the reason for the new approach.

“Over the past few years, we’ve noticed that fewer people are attending the event,” she says. “We’re not sure why.”

Fynn says volunteer organizations are all welcome to contact Krystle Kotyk at 780-514-2204 to register for the program, and she encourages people to call sooner rather than later.

“There is a limit on the amount of Chamber Cash we can give out,” says Fynn.

However, FCSS recognizes that not all organizations have the funds for purchasing vouchers, and Fynn says there are other ways volunteers can be recognized. There is also the possibility of discretionary financial assistance for some cases.

“They don’t have to purchase vouchers to be a part of our volunteer recognition program,” says Fynn. “We’ll also do certificates of recognition for them, too, if that’s what they want.”

She says there will be a media campaign during the volunteer recognition week, and organizations can fill out information packages to share information about what they do. This information will be promoted on social media, through local newspapers, and local radio stations.

Fynn says the campaign is something they are excited about. She says normally only those who attend the celebration get to learn about all of the people who give to their community. By doing a campaign, they can now let everyone in the area know how many volunteers contribute.

“We’re excited for the rest of our community to see how many volunteers work here and the impact they can have for us,” says Fynn.

By Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 21, 2024 at 12:02

This item reprinted with permission from   Free Press   Drayton Valley, Alberta

Comments are Welcome - Use the 'Join the Discussion' above any replies, or 'TheRegional / Chat' below replies. Both links take you to the same place. You will be asked to become a registered user if you are not one already - Posts are moderated