CORNWALL, Ontario – With over 300 volunteer positions up for grabs across Cornwall, SDG and Akwesasne, fresh faces, as well as long-time volunteers, were welcome at the Cornwall & Area Volunteer Fair at the Civic Complex on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
With 36 organizations registered on display, there was sure to be something to pique everyone’s interest. Carilyne Hébert, Executive Director of the Social Development Council of Cornwall and Area (SDC), expected hundreds to come out by the end of the day, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Volunteering is uncharted territory for many local residents like Chris Quenville who recently retired and was in attendance to see where he could donate his time and efforts.
“I’m newly retired so I’m thinking of volunteering in the winter months (I’m pretty busy during the summer). There’s some that are very informative…there’s a lot of good organizations here that need help from people…(especially) if you fit their needs and they fit your time schedule,” said Quenville, who was keenly intrigued with the Agapé Centre.
Hébert explained that in the past, the City would host a similar volunteer exhibition specifically for seniors. This is the first year the Volunteer Fair is open to residents of all ages and is especially targeting youth in the community who may need to fulfill 40 hour requirements or try a new venture. High schools in the region were contacted about the event.
“So many great services wouldn’t be able to operate if it wasn’t for the people coming into the room today,” said Hébert, emphasizing the importance of volunteers.
Hébert added that the SDC is currently working to unveil a volunteer administration network in 2020 that will aim to recruit, motivate and retain community volunteers as other communities have seen success with such a program.
Anyone interested in volunteering who could not make it to the Fair are encouraged to seek out local opportunities at volunteerhub.ca.