On April 12, TAPS celebrated its volunteers with an appreciation event, under the theme of "superheroes". (Submitted)

Tips from TAPS: Celebrating Our Volunteers

April 24 to 30 is National Volunteer Week

By Maureen Cameron, TAPS Community Liaison

Appreciating our volunteers at TAPS (Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors) is something we remind ourselves to do throughout the year: in person, in newsletters, reports and more.

On April 12, we held our annual appreciation event to celebrate the gang with a theme of “super heroes”. While some were not able to attend, the spirit of heartfelt acknowledgment included all our current volunteers, to remember the key role that all volunteers have played since 2006.

READ MORE: Tips from TAPS: Resilience and Adaptability

TAPS co-ordinator Wendy Garland started the festivities with these words:

“Each of you brings your own skill to TAPS, a superpower if you will! We have super chatters, super game players, super deliverers, super coffee pourers, super potato peelers, super dishwashers, super crafters, super table setters, super mesh packagers, super book clubbers, super singers, super plate clearers, super lightbulb changers, and super grocery shoppers! The list of skills is almost endless! Most of all the super power you all have is the strength of your empathy and compassion. Every time you come to TAPS, you use your mighty hearts to lift ours and brighten our day. TAPS would not be possible without you.”

Thank you Paul, Pete, Marge, Vera, Carole, Doris, Jim and Nellie, Steve, Eric, Tammy, Barb, Lynette, Joanne, Sharon and Sharon, Jean, Marnie, Claire and Corinne, Anne, Irene and Irene, Bev, Linda, Gary, Pat, Woody and Alexandra. And of course, thanks also to our voluntary Valley Community Services (VCS) Board of Directors.

To quote National Volunteer Canada:

”Volunteering is a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time and labour for community service. Volunteers have the satisfaction of helping others while enjoying the benefits of staying active and connected to their communities. Seniors who volunteer report better overall physical and emotional health and well-being than non-volunteers. Other benefits include feeling valued and empowered through helping organizations meet their mandate, meeting new people, opportunities for creativity and personal growth, and not to be underestimated, having fun.

Volunteering is a great way to contribute to your community and help others while sharing the talents and wisdom that you have gained throughout your life, or build new ones. This year the National Volunteer Week theme is, ‘Volunteering Is Empathy In Action’, affirming the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy. This profoundly human connection is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities. It’s a quality that can help people see the world through the eyes of others and build awareness around different experiences by expanding our views and working collectively.”

Volunteering connects people through their actions and creates bonds forged in common goals and aspirations to contribute to an inclusive society. From coast to coast in formal and informal settings, volunteers create caring, collaborative, and compassionate communities. During National Volunteer Week 2022, celebrate the contributions of Canada’s millions of volunteer from April 24 to 30s: their actions, their understanding, and their genuine concern for the world around them. Volunteering and putting empathy into action, can build communities where people feel happier, healthier, and more welcome – creating a stronger, more connected Canada.

TAPS, with help from a Government of Canada New Horizons Senior Program Grant, is focusing this whole next year on bringing awareness to and encouraging volunteerism by sharing stories from volunteer organizations as well as a 2023 calendar.

Who do you volunteer with? Which volunteers do you appreciate? How do you thank them?

TAPS operates under the auspices of Valley Community Services (VCS) for financial, legal, and other administrative functions. We acknowledge the generosity of our individual community financial donors who make direct donations for TAPS, those who contribute to our Legacy Fund and those who do so in memory of loved ones.

For further information on programs for seniors or how to donate, visit www.valley.services or phone VCS at 250-428-5547. For TAPS program information and volunteer opportunities, call 250-428-5585.

charityColumnCreston Valley