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Volunteer Airdrie encourages families to volunteer together

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 11:28 am

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Monday Feb. 17, marks this year’s Family Day holiday and Volunteer Airdrie hopes residents, especially families, will spend it volunteering to help the Airdrie community.

“Not only on Family Day but every day,” said Volunteer Airdrie Executive Director Marilyne Aalhus. “It’s just an awesome opportunity to come together and make a difference.”

Longtime volunteers Rob and Michelle Pirzek, who volunteer with their two children, Jenn and John, said they are teaching their kids to be invested in the community and respectful of everything around them.

The Pirzek’s son John, who has Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD, volunteers with his parents at the Airdrie Festival of Lights Society and his parents say the experience has had a very positive impact on him.

“The relationships John’s been able to build with the other board members and volunteers, and the mentorship he’s received has provided John an incredible opportunity to share his talents, build confidence and develop into a brilliant young man,” the Pirzek’s said.

Aalhus said volunteering as a family doesn’t just have to be parents and children, but can be grandparents, aunts, uncles, step-siblings and anyone else you consider family.

She said it’s an opportunity that not only creates a space for family time, but also provides meaningful community engagement and engages youth and children who might otherwise be considered too young to volunteer.

Aalhus said the benefits of volunteering together are many and include: strengthened relationships, unique involvement for youth, develops values for future generations, creates stronger ties with the community, provides awareness of community issues and may provide youth with volunteer hours required at school.

She suggests families first discuss why they wish to volunteer and what type of activities they’d be interested in doing before they decide on a volunteer opportunity.

Volunteer Airdrie has lots of family volunteering activities online at

“Obviously the Summer Games are huge,” Aalhus said. “That’s going to be something that will definitely need volunteers.”

She also suggested Meals on Wheels as a good opportunity for parents with young children because they can bring the child along with them and the seniors enjoy seeing the kids.

“Senior facilities love to see families come together,” she said.

Other family opportunities Aalhus suggests are fundraising events, parades and festivals, food drives and gardening or park clean-ups.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit


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