The moment you step inside either location of the Central Okanagan Food Bank you can instantly feel the energy that vibrates throughout the building. Each week hundreds of volunteers selflessly offer their time to us, and it’s that commitment that ensures we are operationally successful in serving our local community.
Although we recognize the impact that our volunteers have on our organization every day, when it comes to Volunteer Appreciation Week, we like to show extra gratitude for the dedicated folks that show up daily, weekly, and monthly to help us. The compassion, kindness and devotion that our volunteers display keeps us motivated to continue working towards our goal of nourishing those in our community who face food insecurity.
Although we value all our volunteers, we would like to share a special acknowledgment for the COFB’s longest-serving volunteer, Nancy. She’s been volunteering at our West Kelowna location for 34 years! But she doesn’t volunteer for recognition or praise; she volunteers because she believes it’s the right thing to do. Although she offers her time to other organizations, she says the food bank will always come first.
Each volunteer that works with our organization lends their unique skill set and expertise to us. Operationally, food needs to be sorted, packed and distributed to clients and partner agencies 6 days a week. However, there are many other ways people can support our organization. Like Claudia, Pam and Catherine who offer their time in an administrative capacity. Or Arlene and the many corporate teams that enjoy giving back by participating at fundraising events throughout the year.
We often communicate that our volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization, which is easily proven by how many hours of their time they have gifted us. In 2022 COFB supporters selflessly volunteered 29,332 hours, resulting in $500,000 in saved wages. Fortunately, this has allowed us to redirect these funds back into our hamper programs, ensuring that even more families, children, seniors, and individuals in financially vulnerable situations have increased access to nutritious foods.
On behalf of the COFB and all those we serve… thank you to every volunteer that has contributed to our organization. We whole-heartedly believe that our volunteers are the unsung heroes of our society!