National Volunteer Week is here, and it’s a coast-to-coast-to-coast celebration of the commitment, dedication, generosity and selflessness of Canada’s almost 13 million volunteers.

Canada’s volunteers work tirelessly to achieve progress in their communities, cities and country. They give time to support causes and programs they believe in and ask for nothing in return.  The theme this year – It’s time to applaud this country’s volunteers – encourages all Canadians to loudly and proudly cheer for Canada’s volunteers.

Without volunteers and their more than 160 million hours of volunteer time each month, so much of what must get done, would go undone. Meals would have no wheels. Seniors would miss medical appointments. Cats and dogs would have no foster homes. Walkways and driveways of elderly neighbours would pile up with snow. Groceries at food banks wouldn’t make it to those in need. Children’s sports teams would be benched. And for that and so much more, we owe them our thanks and heartfelt cheers.

During the COVID-19 public health crisis, Volunteer Canada would like to shine the spotlight on those volunteering in essential services and to salute those who help by staying home to protect themselves and their communities.

Let’s all cheer for the volunteers who are making a door-to-door difference across Canada during COVID-19.

Through community and non-profit organizations across Canada volunteers are delivering meals and groceries to seniors and those who have difficulty safely leaving their homes and apartments. Community-minded volunteers are taking grocery orders over the phone and coordinating fellow volunteers who pick and pack orders for the drivers to pick up. Every month, Canadian volunteers give over 166 million hours of their time to make life better for their communities.

#CheersToVolunteers

Let’s all cheer for the volunteer managers who checking in and saying hello to show they care for volunteers and clients.

Volunteer Managers remain hard at work during COVID-19, keeping volunteers engaged and informed through phone calls, texts, messaging and video chats. With feelings of social isolation and Managers loneliness being felt across Canada, Volunteer Managers are ensuring that personal and community connections remain. Words and attention matter now more than ever.

#CheersToVolunteers

Let’s all cheer for the companies stepping up to volunteer and support volunteerism.

In every province, companies are reaching out to community organizations to see how they can help. In spite of a challenging economy for many businesses, Canadian companies of all sizes are pitching in wherever they can. Virtual volunteering and fundraising events are being organized, skills and expertise and being made available at no cost and volunteer recognition programs are generating thanks and much-needed donations.

#CheersToVolunteers

Let’s all cheer for the sew many ways that volunteers are making a difference.

Across Canada, a popular pastime has become a way to show community caring. Canadians of all ages are picking up their needles and thread to fashion all manner of masks for their families, friends and neighbours. Some are making caps for those on the front lines of health care. Others are collecting and delivering sewing supplies and cloth to keep production flowing.

#CheersToVolunteers

Let’s all cheer for the volunteer centres connecting volunteers with community needs.

Local volunteer centres are working with community organizations and municipalities to respond to local needs during these challenging times. They’re matching volunteers, collecting personal protective equipment from the community to distribute to frontline workers, and innovating with virtual volunteer opportunities. These coordinated efforts help allocate resources where they are needed most, while ensuring the safety of volunteers and at-risk people who need support.

#CheersToVolunteers

Let’s all cheer for the virtual volunteers who are keeping communities connected in a time of social isolation.

Although the technologies for connecting people over the Internet are not new, they are being quickly learned and embraced by volunteers in communities across Canada. Programs and services are being adapted and delivered on devices of all kinds from computers to tablets and smart phones. Book clubs continue to share a love of reading, concerts are hitting happy notes and communities are staying in touch to chat, support, coach and mentor, all in an effort to bring Canadians together in challenging times.

#CheersToVolunteers

Let’s all cheer for Canada’s volunteers!

We ask all Canadians to join us in celebrating National Volunteer Week 2020. Decorate your windows with Volunteer Canada’s clapping hands image with the message Cheers to Volunteers! or with your own design. You can also share the image on social media with the hashtags #CheersToVolunteers and #NVW2020.

From April 19 to 25, let’s join together and make sure Canada’s volunteers receive the applause, thanks and recognition they so richly deserve.