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North Shore volunteer groups earn community spirit awards for COVID-19 responses

Volunteers come through in a big way during pandemic
Volunteer awards - web
Volunteer Ming Berka prepares meals for seniors at the Silver Harbour Centre.

In recognition of National Volunteer Week, North Shore Community Resources – the host agency for Volunteer North Shore – has recognized a number of individuals and organizations with Community Volunteer Spirit Awards.

In a press release coinciding with Volunteer Week, which ran April 18-24, NSCR extended their sincere appreciation to all volunteers whose diligent efforts make the North Shore’s unique communities more vibrant and livable.

Honouring volunteers who have made a significant contribution to organizations on the North Shore during the past year, or in some cases, many years, has long been a tradition through NSCR’s Community Volunteer Spirit Awards. This year individuals were recognized from Harvest Project, North and West Vancouver Navy League, North Shore Stroke Recovery Centre, Parkgate Society, and Quest Food Exchange. In addition, this year three groups of volunteers received awards.

Here are the organizations that were recognized for their group efforts:

Capilano Community Services Society, Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program volunteers: In response to COVID-19, the program was re-imagined with health and safety guidelines being observed. Volunteers went over and above to make sure the program stayed open and was available to everyone in our community.

Silver Harbour Seniors’ Activity Centre, Meal Program volunteers: The program shifted during COVID to provide packaged meals for pickup or delivery (subsidized or free) for low-income seniors. Although the food services volunteer team had to shrink due to physical distancing requirements, the team worked very hard to support seniors’ nutritional needs.

West Vancouver Memorial Library, English Language Learning program facilitators: ELL programs give newcomer participants an opportunity to make social connections as well as improve English language skills. When the library pivoted to virtual programs last March, volunteers were invited to try facilitating a Zoom version of the successful in-person conversation programs. It proved popular and was expanded, and a book club was added. For participants, the program has been critical to their sense of belonging and inclusion.

This article originally appeared in a Volunteer Week special feature of the North Shore News on April 21, 2021. North Shore Community Resources is a registered charitable organization that hosts the Volunteer Centre, and also offers programs for children and parents, seniors and caregivers, community legal services and more.