../Morning Post
Posted April 12, 2011

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Community

Celebrating 700 dedicated volunteers

Waterloo - More than 700 volunteers support the small staff at Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More, enabling less than 30 employees to serve 3,000 local seniors and adults with disabilities. Volunteers deliver Meals on Wheels, drive clients to essential medical appointments or the grocery store, and lead free seniors fitness classes. They are also the driving force behind fundraising events, and help keep the office running smoothly.

“On average our volunteers contribute 70,000 hours every year,” said Dale Howatt, Executive Director, Community Support Connections – Meals on Wheels and More. “But their contribution is more than their time. Our clients love the fact that these people are there because they want to be; they have not been forgotten by the community they helped to build.”

With 12.5 million volunteers dedicating their time across Canada, volunteers are on the front lines of all our community services – the work of volunteers is essential to maintaining resilient communities at home and around the world.

National Volunteer Week pays tribute to volunteers who graciously donate their time and energy. This year’s 68th annual NVW takes place the week of April 10 to 16. It is Canada’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism, and civic participation.

Despite the fact CSC has so many dedicated volunteers, demand is changing. More and more people are looking for short term opportunities, which has left 79 of CSC’s clients on a wait list for a friendly visitor – a longer term, one on one commitment.

“All they want is for someone to come spend two hours a week with them in their own home, so they aren’t as isolated as they currently may be,” Howatt said. “We ask that people make a commitment of eight months, so it’s not a disruptive arrangement for the client, but we’ve had some matches last as long as ten years. It really can be the start of something special.”

Community Support Connections - Meals on Wheels and More is a local charitable organization that provides a wide range of supports and services that enable seniors and adults with disabilities to live at home with independence and dignity.

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