In 2010 more than 450 volunteers offered services to the community through Beacon Community Services. Last week, about 200 of them were recognized for milestone years of volunteerism through the Peninsula-born organization — from five years of service, to the remarkable 32 years offered by Rene and Edna Laprairie.
“I want to offer a very warm, very big thank you to all the volunteers here today and through you to all the volunteers. Your efforts to help power this amazing organization are very much appreciated,” said Bob Cronin, chair of the BCS board. “Thanks to Beacon volunteers, thousands of items are diverted from landfills, priced fairly and sold to generate funds for worthwhile services and programs; seniors are driven to medical appointments, and if they want they can bend a friendly ear in the meantime; Beacon volunteers help people figure out their taxes, a daunting task; make special community events go off flawlessly; and provide peer support, counselling, many things,” Cronin said.
Each year, volunteers donate more than 50,000 hours of their time and talents to Beacon programs — on average they offer 4.7 hours each week, a recent survey found.
“Your efforts and your contribution makes this a better place to live, a better place to raise families and a better place to retire … But we want to make sure we are also meeting your needs,” said Isobel Mackenzie, BCS chief executive officer. “This year for the first time we took a comprehensive, third-party survey of our volunteers to find out what our needs are, are we meeting them, what could we do better.”
More than half reported they enjoy serving the community while about a quarter identified keeping active or helping people as their primary motivation.