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2/27 The importance of volunteerism



As a community member, it is important to realize that every event you attend, every non-profit organization you see, and every community park you walk through is covered with the fingerprints of volunteers.  Volunteers are the life-force of community action. Individuals gifting their time and working together for the completion of a task has powerful results for smaller communities. These results are very apparent in Stettler and the surrounding area. 

From our Volunteer Firefighting service to mentors in the Boys and Girls clubs, volunteerism not only provides valuable services but builds capacity in our community for future generations.


Volunteers coach our children in sports, music, and arts; volunteers support individuals at the Stettler Hospital, providing fellowship and company; volunteers provide support at events that cannot afford paid staff.  It is important to remember that everyone’s lives have been touched by volunteers.


But what can volunteering do for you?  There are many studies showing that working with others in a volunteer setting has a profound effect on mental health and general mood.  It can increase self-confidence and give you a multitude of experiences. If you’re looking for that next job, volunteering can be a strong addition to your resume.


StettlerGives.com is a new online volunteer centre developed by Rairdan Services, Inc. to support the Stettler Information and Referral Centre. Wendy Rairdan, owner and operator of Rairdan Services, Inc., said the website was built in collaboration with Stettler Information & Referral to provide an online space to support volunteerism in our community.


“We help promote local organizations by promoting them online, providing a place to post volunteer opportunities and we also take in volunteer applications and direct them to the right organizations. It’s an online volunteer centre tailored just for us.” said Rairdan


Rairdan also added “The website will evolve to continue to meet the needs of Stettler Information & Referral Centre and the community.  We want to help encourage the next generation of Stettler residents to volunteer.”


Rairdan noticed that many local organizations don't have any (or have very little) online presence making it more difficult for people to connect with organizations. "People want to access information 24hrs a day and organizations have to have that online presence to ensure those connections are made." Rairdan also explained that she went to a Community Resiliency workshop in the Fall and became concerned that there is no database of local volunteers in the event of an emergency. "Having a database of volunteers and their skills could be critical in how we are able to respond to emergencies. This is something we were easily able to integrate into StettlerGives.com."


Ways you can support your local organizations & service groups


Buy a ticket...ASAP!

Ticket sales are critical to the success of many events. Check posters, facebook and look at the organizations advertising efforts to find out where you can buy tickets and for more details on events. If you wait until the last minute to buy your tickets the event may be cancelled due to low ticket sales.


RSVP to events...ASAP!

Fundraising takes many, many volunteer hours and the more the event planners know, and the earlier they know, the better they can plan a great event for you and save money for their events. If everyone waits until the last minute to purchase tickets or RSVP, event organizers become very stressed that they will have to cancel their event and that all their hard work will go to waste. Let them know you are interested by committing as soon as you can.


Donate an auction item

Donating an auction item is an easy way to contribute to fundraisers. It is easy for you (volunteers usually pick it up!) and it brings great funds to the organizations. Ask for a tax receipt but remember not all organizations and service groups can provide tax receipts. Donating an auction item is also great way to get your business name out there.


Donations

They don't always ask outright but many local organizations need cash. Some organizations have online donation forms but all service groups and organizations can take cash or cheques and most of them can take etransfers. The need for cash is usually to help support people and/or families and programs that don't fit under any provincial or federal funding. Sometimes it is just how they keep the lights on. Call them directly to see how you can donate money.


Become a Board Member

Most of our local organizations need board members. Board members are critical to the success and growth of an organization. Most board meetings are just once a month and then you have the option of taking on as much or as little as you are able to within that role. Some organizations only take on new board member once a year at their Annual General Meeting but others can accept board members all year round. You can become a board member by filling out the online application at StettlerGives.com or by contacting the non-profit or service group directly.


Volunteer

Nothing happens without volunteers. No matter what your age, skill set or physical ability, there is volunteer position for you. Learn all you can, teach all you can, grow friendships, contribute to your community and love what volunteering brings to your life. If you would like to volunteer in Stettler or the County of Stettler please fill out the form at https://www.stettlergives.com/volunteer-application


Support local organizations on StettlerGives.com

You can sponsor a webpage for a local non-profit on StettlerGives.com or you can buy advertising on the website. Half of all the proceeds from advertising on StettlerGives.com goes to mainting the website and the other half of all proceeds go to the organizations with web pages on the website. Read more here.

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