Nova Scotia has long been known as a province rich in volunteers. An initiative coming from no less than the Governor General is trying to breathe renewed life into that tradition across the entire country.
The My Giving Moment volunteerism campaign launched Monday by Gov. Gen. David Johnston aims to get more young people involved in donating their time and helping charitable efforts. It’s kicking off with a series of print, TV and radio public interest ads and will also try to reach the public through its website, mygivingmoment.ca.
Johnson also said the campaign will try to appeal to youth through use of social media.
The youth target group should come as no surprise: many of today’s volunteers are at an older stage of life – and some of them are putting in a substantial amount of time to their cause.
With the aging population in Canada, it’s not hard to see that the number of volunteers is at risk of growing desperately fewer, at a time when the need can be expected to rise.
The number and quality of volunteers in Nova Scotia is highlighted each year during Volunteer Week in April, with recognition handed out to deserving individuals in each community.
But Statistics Canada in a recent report found that while volunteerism is growing in Canada, 10 per cent of volunteers contribute more than half the hours.
It’s overwhelming to ponder what some of our community organizations accomplish, with their ties and understanding of home turf.
We can also expect to see governments, facing tightening budgets and dwindling revenues, being forced in coming years to scale back the scope of their offerings, some of the less urgent safety nets. Occasionally that will mean a charitable service deemed of interest in a given community would need to be picked up by an organization, with support from the public.
Quite often, a cause will benefit greatly from a homegrown solution. It’s about being involved in community – everyone has a stake and a common interest.