Volunteerism on the decline in Canada

Mission residents spend hundreds of thousands of hours volunteering

Did you know that the number of youth who reported serving in the community for one hour or more a week in a 2008 survey of 2100 Mission high school youth was 40 per cent?

“The outdated stereotype of the volunteer as an older woman wearing a hat and carrying a basket prevails in spite of the nearly eight million Canadians who look just like you and me and who volunteer each year.”(Linda Graff and Paul Reed).

Silent, yet major shifts are taking place in Canada’s voluntary sector. In fact, research on volunteerism in Canada demonstrates much change in less than a generation’s time. Graff and Reed, two Canadian experts on volunteering state that communities have been built on a foundation of civic involvement, compassion and concern for others from which we are internationally recognized. What does declining volunteerism mean for Mission?

Volunteers are estimated to put in a billion hours of effort annually in Canada, much of this occurring silently. As volunteerism has traditionally been a value in Canadian society, we may take these silent helpers for granted. In Mission, program cuts to nonprofit and community organizations often result in an increased dependency on volunteers. All age groups are positively impacted by volunteers in Mission, including at-risk pregnant women, children and youth, the homeless and vulnerable, to home-bound seniors and elders.

National Volunteer Week has just come and gone. If you are a volunteer or you know one in Mission, congratulate them on their honorable dedication in putting community first and self second. To learn more about community development in Mission, join us May 30 between 7 and 8 p.m. at the Leisure Centre for a community conversation. Children are welcome, snacks and activities will be available. Draw prize includes two Cineplex movie passes, and two popcorns. Please RSVP to Kirsten Hargreaves khargreaves@mission.ca or 604-820-3752.

40 Assets: Helping Children and Youth Thrive is a volunteer based working group in Mission within the District of Mission’s Social Development Program. The Did you Know article series focuses in on results from the 40 Developmental Assets Survey completed in 2008 by 2,100 Mission high school youth. If you would like to get involved, contact Kirsten Hargreaves, manager of social development at 604-820-3752 or khargreaves@mission.ca.

Just Posted

Strong winds, rain knock out power to thousands in Lower Mainland

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in region and Sunshine Coast

Downtown Mission: Ready to revitalize

With the bidding process underway, construction could start by mid-March

Guilty plea issued in case where man, 86, was assaulted and robbed

Hughie Stump pleads guilty to break-and-enter in relation to Abbotsford incident

WIND WARNING: Metro Vancouver expecting 100 km/h gusts Saturday night

Environment Canada issues warns of possibly dangerous conditions

Fraser Health asking taxpayers for millions more in health care capital funding

Health authority wants Fraser Valley taxpayers to triple annual contribution to $5.75 million

VIDEO: AND THE WINNERS ARE …

Mission Chamber announces Business Excellence Awards winners

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blanked by Portland Winterhawks

Saturday’s 2-0 setback marks first regulation loss for G-Men in 10 games

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

VIDEO: Remember the Voyageurs at Fort Langley

Two-day historical festival underway

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read