CANEX Gives Back volunteer appreciation event
By Don MacGillivray,
Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre
Upbeat, jazzy holiday piano music, intermingled with the murmur of a hundred gathered friends, guests, and of course, honoured volunteers – those were the sounds of the CANEX Gives Back Volunteer Appreciation Night. Volunteers from PSP and H&R MFRC were treated to cheesecake and a wonderful showing of Cinderella at the Neptune Theatre, full of pop hits and belly laughs.
When they say the holidays are a time of joy, this must be what they mean – camaraderie, togetherness, and a shared spirit of giving. To illustrate that point, posted in the corner of the event room was CAF Veteran Darrell Ling’s “Spare a Pair” sock drive box – an initiative to supply the unhoused of Halifax with warm socks this winter. Within 10 minutes of the doors opening to our volunteers the box was full, the next five minutes would see socks begin to pile up around it. As Shelley Hopkins, Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre Executive Director, put it, “You all show up in such a big way, whether the ask is big or small.”
It’s true. No matter the ask, our volunteers show up. In fact, they showed up to the tune of 6,430 hours worth of donated time this past year. At just minimum wage, that equals a donation of $94,842! Mike Almond, PSP Senior Manager, said, “I know it’s cliché to say, but it’s true, without our volunteers our core programs simply wouldn’t exist.”
But it’s not just the time contributed that makes what our volunteers do so special, as Shelley Hopkins said, “Volunteers don’t have the time, they have the heart.” It’s the spirit and dedication that our volunteers put into everything they do that makes it so special.
The future of our volunteerism is also in great shape, as Jack Burton, Youth Volunteer of the year, was highlighted at the event as well. A quote from his nomination reads, “Jack sets a great example of what youth can do for their community. He works diligently to ensure that the Henderson Sweetman Youth Centre provides adequate and interesting programs while encouraging others his age to get involved.”
We truly can’t thank our volunteers enough for yet another year of selflessness. Thank you to everyone who donated their time this year.