For the second year, the Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau will be holding a digital celebration for those who make a difference in the region. As part of National Volunteer week, residents can give a video volunteer shout out which will be posted online. They can also take part in an National Volunteer week scavenger hunt.

GPVSB Executive Director Carol-Anne Pasemko says the last year has been extremely difficult for everyone, with volunteers and not-for-profit organizations feeling a tremendous pinch from the COVID-19 pandemic. She explains traditional volunteer opportunities went out of the window because of social distancing and isolation.

“It became a liability issue for organizations to have volunteers doing front line services… that whole picture of what a volunteer does, changed. The food bank can no longer have volunteers working there… they are still sitting on boards of directors, still actively engaged in the schools and in various areas; they’re just not as prominent.”

Pasemko says, while everybody likes to be thanked for a job well done, volunteers don’t usually look for public praise. However, she believes it’s vital to recognize the value of volunteers.

“If you take and try to tabulate that cost into all of the different things volunteers do, the city couldn’t afford it,” she chuckles.

National Volunteer Week runs from April 18th to 24th.