National Volunteer Week is this week, a time meant to honour volunteers . (Screenshot)

National Volunteer Week offers deserved recognition

Event takes place from April 19-25

People who continue to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic are putting themselves at risk — and that includes volunteers.

This week is National Volunteer Week and Angeline Street, volunteer co-ordinator at the Mt. Arrowsmith Salvation Army, said they deserve special recognition.

“They’re as frontline as any grocery store worker or nurse or anybody else,” she said. “There are volunteers still out in the community.”

Some volunteers have gone on break since the start of the COVID-19 situation, but Street said they still have 30-40 active volunteers. Those people help keep the soup kitchen and food bank going, with adjustments to make the services safe. The organization has seen demand go up in the area.

“They just think that the work is really important and they feel, for themselves, that they either aren’t in a risk category or they’re comfortable with the level of risk,” she said. “And they just think it’s still really important to feed the people in our community.”

READ MORE: City of Parksville proclaims volunteer week April 7 to April 13

Street said she’s brainstorming ideas on how to celebrate their volunteers since they can’t do their usual annual gathering.

Street points to other organizations in the area who have hardworking volunteers, such as the Society of Organized Services (which continues to offer their Meals on Wheels program, as well as other services) and Manna Homeless Society, which supports homeless and low-income people.

“SOS is offering essential services to residents in need, and our volunteers are able to help us deliver these in a few areas while keeping themselves and the clients safe,” said Susanna Newton, executive director. “SOS wishes to thank our 350 volunteers who would usually be helping in the thrift shop, driving people to appointments, mentoring children and youth, preparing food for programs, answering phones in the offices, and doing other tasks to strengthen and support our community.”

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