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Volunteering Trends: Being Event Volunteers or Coordinators

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This week, I’d like to look at event volunteering since a growing trend is for organizations to host events promoting their cause, raising funds, or celebrating milestones.  In the City of Prince George, there are at least 5 major events happening in June plus even more throughout the summer.  Here is a small sample of the organizations that are looking for event volunteers:

  • Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Big Bike Event on June 10, 17, 20, & 21 at the Coast Inn of the North
  • PG Native Friendship Centre’s National Aboriginal & Metis Day on June 21 at Lheidl T’enneh Memorial Park
  • Variety – the Children’s Charity’s Radiothon on June 22 & 23 at the Wolf Radio Station
  • Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ride Don’t Hide on June 26 at the CN Centre
  • PG Walk for ALS on June 26 at Lheidl T’enneh Memorial Park
  • Two Rivers Gallery BMO kidz art dayz on July 8 & 9 at 725 Canada Games Way
  • Downtown Prince George’s Summerfest 2016 on July 17 at 6th & George Street
  • British Columbia Northern Exhibition Fall Fair on August 18 to 21 at Exhibition Grounds, 18th Avenue

Just last Friday, I was excited to be an event volunteer for the Edgewood Elementary Parent Advisory Council during its annual Community BBQ which celebrates the end of the school year.  This event is completely powered by volunteers in a wide variety of roles:

  • Set-up & Take-down
  • Marketing & Activities
  • Food Preparation & Waste Management
  • Event Planner & Coordinator
Line up for food at Edgewood Community BBQ

Line up for delicious hamburgers and hot dogs at the Edgewood Community BBQ, June 10, 2016.

The Edgewood Community BBQ was attended by more than 300 students and their families!  You can imagine that it took a large amount of volunteers’ time and energy to make this event possible.  So, I asked why volunteers ran this event and what skills or qualifications did they gain?  Here are three reasons that I came up with about why people volunteered for the Community BBQ:

  1. Free food (well, everyone got free food at this event, but since the event was during supper-time, people were able to eat and volunteer at the same time).
  2. Allow younger children to develop confidence and practice leadership skills (A 7-year old girl started out helping her Mom enter students into a prize draw and, by the end of the evening, the little girl was running the prize draw table by herself).
  3. Families could volunteer together (Three pairs of husbands and wives teamed up to cook delicious hamburgers and hot dogs).

What are your reasons for being an event volunteer?  Let me know at volunteerpg@telus.net or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/volunteerpg.

Volunteers at the Bike Safety Rodeo during the Edgewood Community BBQ

Volunteers at the Bike Safety Rodeo during the Edgewood Community BBQ, June 10, 2016.

I already mentioned that event volunteers can develop confidence and practice leadership skills, but what other skills or qualifications are gained by event volunteers?  I would argue that all event volunteers gain the following skills:

  • Reliability (showing up on time for a shift)
  • Flexibility (being able to move from one task to another on short notice)
  • Ability to communicate in a clear and friendly fashion (interacting with a diverse group of people)

What skills have you developed as an event volunteer?  Let me know at volunteerpg@telus.net or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/volunteerpg.

So, now it is time for a challenge: 

  1. Pick an event above!
  2. Sign up as an event volunteer!
  3. Volunteer, gain skills, and have fun!
  4. Tell Volunteer Prince George about your experience!

Happy volunteering,

Sarah Foot

General Manager

Volunteer Prince George

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