COMOX VALLEY, APRIL 7, 2019: April 7 through 13 is National Volunteer Week. Communities across Canada are celebrating the generosity of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who give the gift of time to countless organizations to build strong, vibrant and healthy communities. Here in the Comox Valley, we have an extra reason to celebrate with the announcement of the relaunch of a local volunteer support agency.
Many people were dismayed at the news that Volunteer Comox Valley would be shutting down operations last year. Not wanting to see this resource completely disappear, Terri Perrin, who was the Community Engagement Manager at Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North at the time, was given permission to take over the administration of the Volunteer Centre’s Facebook page. She renamed it the ‘Comox Valley Volunteer Connector and, with the help of fellow Comox Valley Women’s Business Network member and graphic designer, Linda Graceffo, they created a new logo and brand identity. Since then, Perrin has been diligently doing her part to celebrate the volunteer spirit by connecting the public with local nonprofits on social media.
“I couldn’t envision our community without a resource for people who want to connect with causes that matter to them,” explains Perrin, who recently left Habitat and joined the team at LUSH Valley Food Action Society as their new Communications and Program Manager.
“Through my volunteer management role at Habitat, I had already been working with Mary Catherine Williams, the Executive Director at Volunteer Campbell River (VCR),” adds Perrin. “Over the past few months, she and I have been meeting to determine how we could work in a spirit of collaboration to ensure there could be resources available to both individuals and nonprofits in the Comox Valley. The thought of having to establish a new local board and apply for nonprofit status was daunting to me … and that would also take a long time to do. ”
“Volunteer Campbell River is thrilled to announce a new partnership with Terri Perrin and the Comox Valley Volunteer Connector (CVVC),” says Williams. “Because our Society covers the North Island, we are able to take the Comox Valley region under our wing and offer support. In the coming weeks, we will be assisting the CVVC with the development of a website, sale of memberships, and many other administrative support functions. Terri was the natural choice for the role of CVVC Manager because of her investment into the community in general and the CVVC in particular. She is a well-respected and ambitious individual with a genuine interest in supporting and celebrating volunteers and has extensive skills specific to this role. In addition to the Facebook page, Terri has now set up an e-newsletter sign -up, an email address and a local phone number. We are excited about offering support to CVVC, providing training for volunteer managers, support to nonprofits, and celebrating the volunteering spirit that is so much a part of the Comox Valley.”
“Collaborating with Volunteer Campbell River makes sense,” adds Perrin. “It means that we can combine resources, issue tax receipts and apply for grants and other funding under the umbrella of VCR. Any funds raised in the Comox Valley will be designated to support this community and local input will always drive the development of services. And yes, we will be looking for new members and community support from businesses to help build a successful and sustainable organization. I am very excited about what the future holds for volunteerism in the Comox Valley. ”
For the near future, the CVVC will be operating as a ‘virtual volunteer centre’ with an online presence and meetings with individuals and nonprofits by appointment only. Eventually, the plan is to have a dedicated space to display rack cards and other volunteer recruitment materials from local nonprofits, but that will come with time and community support. Perrin intends to continue in her part-time role with LUSH Valley and will put in several hours each week to support the CVVC as a part-time communications contractor, rather than a volunteer, as she has been doing for the past 10 months.
“If it gets to the point where we have the financial resources to have an office again, we’ll have to hire another person to help,” says Perrin. “I would welcome that. It would be amazing!”
For more information email CVVolunteerConnector@gmail.com, call 250-207-8111 or find them on Facebook @ComoxValleyVolunteerConnector.