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Local organization asks residents to resolve to volunteer in the New Year

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jan 09, 2014 12:18 pm

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It’s that time of year again when New Year’s resolutions are set.

However, this year instead of setting out to lose weight or finally use that treadmill that sits cold and alone in the basement, Volunteer Airdrie is asking residents to give the gift of time and make the resolution to volunteer.

“It is the one way people can truly make their city a better place to live,” said Marilyne Aalhus, executive director for Volunteer Airdrie.

The community-operated non-profit organization has more than 60 volunteer-based agencies they work with to partner volunteers with organizations in need.

“It really depends on a person’s interests,” Aalhus said of what volunteer option is right for you.

She added there are opportunities to work with youth, seniors, animals, museums and culture and many more. These opportunities vary in the time commitment and can be as little as one hour a week.

“People don’t realize how engaged they can be in Airdrie,” she said, Volunteer Airdrie lists current volunteer opportunities on their website, www.volunteerairdrie.ca, and updates the list regularly.

“There are so many opportunities in Airdrie that people don’t even recognize as a volunteering opportunity,” she said.

According to the 2011 City of Airdrie Community Needs Assessment, 31 per cent of respondents indicated they currently volunteer, a number Aalhus said she would like to see increase.

“The benefits of volunteering are tremendous and it’s so much fun,” said Aalhus who is a longtime volunteer herself.

Some of the benefits Aalhus lists are: important life lessons, preparation for a future career, a great addition to a work or academic resume, volunteering allows you to give back to society and make your community a better place to live, being a volunteer allows you to help shape the community, it promotes personal growth and self esteem and it’s fun.

Volunteer Airdrie has opportunities for all levels of volunteers including youth volunteering options.

“There is a huge opportunity for youth volunteering in the community for sure,” Aalhus said.

With so many engaged youth already in the city Aalhus said why not encourage them to take it to the next level and become a volunteer.

She said most people find the opportunity they are looking for on the Volunteer Airdrie website, but others with a specific interest are welcome to contact the organization through email at info@volunteerairdrie.ca or by phone at 403-993-5034.

“Volunteering is the ultimate way to be kind,” Aalhus said.


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