Autonomous non-government voluntary organizations have a vital role in the criminal justice process and in building healthy communities. The criminal justice process must include preventative measures, effective reintegration, and seek to resolve conflicts, repair harm, and restore peaceful relations in society by addressing underlying issues.
How long has this nominee been volunteering with this organization?
4 years- Bob was the key leader who led the organization in start up and is now the Chair of the board. He has been extremely active in the day to day work on the two vegetable farms.
How does this nominee contribute to this organization? Describe the specific volunteer activities of this nominee.
The Central Okanagan Community Farm Society is a non-profit agency and the mantra is Grow. Feed. Teach. Bob has donated hundreds of hours in farm set up, prepping of the land, planting seedlings in the greenhouses, transplanting, direct seeding, weeding, harvesting, and delivering food to the Lake Country and Kelowna Food banks. They also have an incubator farmer program where they receive applications from people who wish to learn organic farming practices and pair them with the support and education needed to grow their business. Bob has worked directly with the farmers to help grow their knowledge about organic vegetable farming. Bob has also been very involved in raising awareness of the need for healthy food for all in the Okanagan Valley.
Why is this nominee an exceptional volunteer? Describe the ways the organization and community benefits from his/her volunteer contributions.
Bob has dedicated his life to farming. Now in his retirement, he is focusing on the needs of others who have limited access to healthy food. He spends many hours per day between April and October at the farms nurturing the plants and teaching the volunteers about gardening. He also spends countless hours during the winter months organizing for the coming year. With Bob's leadership, C.O.C.F.S. grows pesticide free produce for organizations such as The Salvation Army Central Okanagan Last year they donated 20,000 pounds of produce to local charities. Food banks from Salmon Arm down to Merritt and numerous nonprofits in between have benefitted. Bob also encourages volunteers from all walks of life, cultures and back grounds to participate. He has brought Syrian refugees in to benefit from the program as well as students, children, single mothers, families, seniors as well as clients from the John Howard Society of Central and South Okanagan and Karis Support Society.