Cristina Vazquez,
Thanks for Doing Some Good!

What first inspired you to volunteer?

My mom was the person who inspired me. She was so dedicated to her volunteering, mainly through the Church that we belonged to. I used to go with her to visit sick, elderly and under privileged people in Mexico where I was born. It really opened my eyes at a young age and helped me realize how fortunate I was and to see that there are many people that are not so fortunate that we can help. I believe in the gift of giving, whatever it is, your time, knowledge, the list is endless. Volunteering is an incredible way of connecting with your community and bringing people together.

Which cause are you most passionate about and why?

I love being involved in my community and I am passionate about many different causes. Arts and Culture are two of my passions. I belong to a Mexican Folklore dance group as I am originally from Mexico. We started the group in Kelowna as a way to promote the Mexican culture and diversity in the community. We volunteer in cultural events in the Okanagan as well as at Seniors Homes and schools in Kelowna. I am passionate about bringing people happiness; I love it when I see the smiles on people’s faces when we perform. There are lots of amazing ways to volunteer and support the Arts.

Which organization do you most commonly volunteer for?

Prospera Credit Union, the company that I have worked for for the last 10 years since moving to Kelowna, is focused on making a difference in our communities. Through Prospera Credit Union, I have the opportunity to volunteer for a variety of organizations. BC Children’s Hospital Foundation is our charity of choice. We have many different events during the year to raise funds like the Bats for a Cause softball tournament in Kelowna. Almost all of the employees in the Okanagan are involved in one way or another through volunteering.
As well, I have had the opportunity to participate during the United Way Central & South Okanagan/Similkameen annual volunteer days, and this year we volunteered at Pathways Abilities Society.
The Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan is another annual event that I enjoy volunteering.
I also love volunteering with my Mexican Folklore Group whenever we can. Finally, I am a Zumba instructor and I like volunteering with my fellow Zumba instructors at charity events like the ‘Walk for Diabetes’.

What does a typical volunteer shift look like for this organization?

As I volunteer for many different organizations, I do not have a typical shift. This is what makes volunteering interesting and fun for me, because I get to do different things every time. My duties range from weeding and cleaning at a charity building facility, to performing with my Mexican Folklore dance group.

What impact have you seen volunteers make in the community?

Volunteers in Kelowna make a big difference. In the City, we host many different events during the year especially in the summer and a lot of these events would not be possible without the help of the volunteers. Everyone makes a difference from the person who volunteers at a sports event to the volunteer firefighters who work very hard in the hot summers. I am proud to live in this community.

What is the most memorable moment or experience you've had while volunteering?

I have had the opportunity to participate in many volunteer activities during my life in Mexico and Canada; all of them have been special and memorable in their own way.

What support does your organization currently need, and how can people learn more or get involved?

Bats for a Cause, our softball tournament in Kelowna, is always in need of participants and support for the BC Children’s Hospital. You can learn more and about how to get involved at the following link
We have had many requests from young girls in Kelowna wanting to learn Mexican folklore dance, so our Folklore Group is in search of a place where we can share this knowledge with others.

Is there anyone else you would like to recognize that has helped support you to make a difference?

No one person in particular as I have many to mention, but Prospera Credit Union has definitely helped me and motivated me to get involved in my community.