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Celebrating Selfless Service: Volunteer Appreciation BBQ 2017

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give,” Winston Churchill once said. The latter part accurately describes the dedication and care that SOURCES Volunteers put into their service.

To honour the contributions of our volunteers, SOURCES held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Barbeque at Campbell Valley Regional Park on August 17, 2017. With roughly 100 Volunteers and Volunteer Supporters in attendance, the event celebrated charity, selflessness and service.

Under a picnic shelter decorated in maple leaf ornaments, red and white banners, and our provinces’ and territories’ flags, Manager of Volunteer Resources Carrie Belanger welcomed the crowd and paid tribute to the impressive and admirable work of each and every SOURCES Volunteer.

Whether it be shelving and sorting items at our Food Banks; driving seniors to and from important medical appointments through our Volunteer Wheels Program; or assisting with tax return preparation for individuals with limited resources though our Income Tax Service – these are just a few of the many roles that our Volunteers play.

“Volunteering brings individuals into the active folds of our community, where people can make a hands-on, front-line impact on the social issues that are important to them,” Belanger said.

Sources Board of Directors President Bruce Hayne and Sources CEO David Young also spoke. In addition to discussing Volunteers’ imperative role in making sure operations function accordingly and purposefully in different departments, Hayne and Young gave a special thank-you to all the members in the SOURCES community who allow SOURCES to thrive as the organization it is today.

Awards were then given to Volunteers who achieved significant milestones: Betty-Anne Peers (who volunteered for 25 years at the White Rock/South Surrey Food Bank), Craig Harrington (who volunteered for 15 years at Life Skills) and Kay Thompson (who has volunteered for 15 years with our Shop-by-Phone Service).

After commending the care and time that SOURCES Volunteers invest in their work, the energy further intensified as Belanger and Summer Program & Volunteer Assistant Hanah Damot announced it was time for Canadiana Trivia! While the flags perched on the picnic tables added a nice touch to the Canada 150 theme, their practical use then became apparent: provincial and territorial flags indicated different teams who would be testing each other’s Canadiana wit.

Part of volunteering is team work … Groups are gathering for our Canadiana Trivia and really working together to come up with their answer,” said Belanger, as teams scribbled their responses on their answer boards.

After exercising their brains, it was time for the trivia aficionados to refuel themselves with some tasty barbequed goods – Canadiana style.

The SOURCES Food Truck grilled hamburger patties and hotdogs in their nifty kitchen on wheels. Hungry attendees lined up to top off their buns with all the fixings. On two nearby tables were beverages, wraps and salads – including veggie inuksuks!

Special thanks to Penguin Meats for providing the hamburger patties!

But what would a barbeque be without dessert? Stationed on another table (yes, there were a total of four tables to accommodate all the food) were Nanaimo bars, butter tarts, maple cookies, and a strawberry vanilla Canadian flag cake made by our SOURCES staff!

Damot, who has spent some time at Women’s Place and the Sources Langley Food Bank this summer, said:

“I really enjoyed seeing/chatting with the Volunteers I have met throughout my time here at SOURCES! Volunteering is important as it allows people to not only give back to the community but to meet other people who share the same beliefs in helping others.”

To top off the evening, there were games of tic-tac-toe, Yatzee, ladder game, Bocce balls and a bean bag toss; and Volunteers got to enter a raffle draw for a Verismo coffee maker by submitting what their most memorable moments were while volunteering with SOURCES. Check out the photo below to see some of the humorous and heart-warming responses.

The different people Volunteers help; the various community needs Volunteers address; the number of hours Volunteers have taken out of their personal time to help others – all these actions are done with the intention to help vulnerable people in our community lead better lives. Churchill’s reflection on making a life by what we give is the very essence of SOURCES Volunteers.

Thank you to the 300+ volunteers who give their time to SOURCES and their community. The dedication and care reflected in all your hard work is the very foundation of SOURCES. Without your contributions, we would not be the organization we are today.

Story & Photos by Amira Loosemore