Happy International Volunteer Day to all VSB volunteers!
Every year on International Volunteer Day (December 5), the District celebrates the amazing work that volunteers do to support our schools, students and staff. From sports coaches to administrative support, Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) and the volunteers at the Newcomer Welcome Centre, all volunteers play a vital role in building and supporting VSB communities.
One exemplary volunteer is Gilda Figueroa, who has volunteered at Lord Selkirk Annex for four years. Since her two youngest daughters attended Selkirk 40 years ago, Figueroa has come to know the school community quite well. Day-to-day, Figueroa volunteers in the library, helps with fundraising initiatives, runs hot lunch programs and organizes the supply rooms.
“Now that I am a retired secretary, volunteering gives meaning to my days,” she shares. “I love being able to give back to the community and find it extremely rewarding to help students, teachers, PAC and office staff. Being a volunteer is a way to give back to the community without compensation. The joy and smiles are enough for me.”
Cameron Beck is another dedicated and passionate volunteer in the District. Beck moved from Australia to Vancouver about three years ago and currently works as the school engagement manager at Science World. Last September, Beck decided to get more involved in school communities throughout Vancouver and signed up to coach volleyball at Vancouver Technical Secondary. A few months later, he became head coach of the senior boys’ volleyball team at King George Secondary.
“I love working with students and fostering a love of volleyball at school,” says Beck. “The boys I am coaching right now are all very excited and keen to learn how to play volleyball, which makes volunteering even more rewarding.”
As a volunteer on a sports team, Beck runs two training sessions and attends two games per week. With a huge passion for the sport, Beck plans to continue his volunteer work at King George for as long as possible.
“I had some key people that volunteered their own time to train me when I was learning how to play volleyball and it made a huge impact on me,” he explains. “I continue to play volleyball today because of those people and if I can help do the same for students, that means the world.”
Another special volunteer from King George Secondary is Jo-Ann Dickinson. New to the school community this year, Dickinson decided to volunteer through PAC to get more involved. As a former PAC volunteer at Lord Roberts Elementary, Dickinson is familiar with organizing school fundraisers such as pizza lunches and movies nights to support students and families.
“There are so many reasons why I volunteer,” she explains. “I see volunteering as an important part of creating and sustaining communities. School can be tough, so I take it as an opportunity to lift and support children,” Dickinson adds.
On International Volunteer Day, we thank all the amazing volunteers for their dedication and commitment to our VSB schools. Happy International Volunteer Day!