What first inspired you to volunteer?
I started volunteering originally with the Okanagan Pride Society and I wanted to try and make a difference by getting the community to be more connected with one another.
Which cause are you most passionate about and why?
I am most passionate about equality in our society, especially the LGBT community.
Which organization do you most commonly volunteer for?
At the moment I spend a lot of my time volunteering with the Living Positive Resource Centre. However, in the past I have dedicated a large portion of my time with the Okanagan Pride Society.
What does a typical volunteer shift look like for this organization?
Right now we are in the middle of building a new LGBTQ youth resource center at Living Positive so there is a lot of work that needs to go into this project. As a chair on the board of directors, I attend regular meetings and work in conjunction with our executive director to ensure the success of our new resource center as well as the charitable organization as a whole.
What impact have you seen volunteers make in the community?
The impact is by no means small. I have learned that volunteers love to help out the community. A lot of the work I do would not happen without the dedication of volunteers. For example, the Okanagan Pride Society is run entirely through volunteers, and they are the reason the organization exists.
What is the most memorable moment or experience you've had while volunteering?
Last year walking beside the mayor (Colin Basran), when he was the Grand Marshall of the pride march. We were accompanied by his two young children, and mother and this truly stood out to me as a moment to remember. It signaled the start of a new era of leadership in Kelowna for the celebration and acceptance of diversity which I had dedicated my time to the community to help achieve.
What support does your organization currently need, and how can people learn more or get involved?
With the Living Positive Centre the support we need is mainly is for the new youth center. With the development of a new project a large portion of the support we need is financial. People can get more information about the youth initiative at http://okanaganpride.com/youth/ and regarding financial donations and charitable receipts email the Executive Director, Clare McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anyone else you would like to recognize that has helped support you to make a difference?
The Executive Director of Living Positive Resource Center (Clare MacDonald) does an exceptional job and puts her heart and soul into the organization. She is the main reason why we are able to help so many individuals in the community.