Submitted by the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS)
When you volunteer, you find that the most important things you have to offer aren’t things at all! As a result, you begin to realize that your time, presence, and attention are great resources. There is no doubt that seniors make up a large percentage of volunteers and are essential to many community groups and organizations. Equally important, however, are volunteers of all ages.
In 2018, Statistics Canada reported that nearly 22.7 million people volunteered informally, representing 74% of Canadians aged 15 and over. Volunteers contributed approximately 3.4 billion hours, which is the equivalent of approximately 1.8 million full-time, year-round jobs. In our valley, even without having statistics to show how many people are contributing to the community, it is clear that we are caring and committed. This is evidenced by the number of organizations, events and services that are supported by the efforts of volunteers.
A TD Bank study asked Canadians why they volunteer. Over 90 percent said they volunteered because they wanted to make a positive contribution to the community. Almost 80 percent cited the ability to use their skills and experience as a reason to volunteer, while having friends or acquaintances already volunteering was another important factor. A smaller percentage (22%) reported volunteering as a way to help find a job. The Therapeutic Activation Program for the Elderly (TAPS) and Valley Community Services (VCS) Better at Home Programs offer a variety of flexible volunteer opportunities.
Since 2005, TAPS has been helping seniors stay independent in their homes and communities. The program provides transportation, nutrition and activity support services for seniors. Over the years, the contribution of our volunteers has become impossible to quantify, but the program would not be so successful without them. Whether it’s a fundraising group (the Krafty Kronys) or program and special event assistants, the work of volunteers supports the program and staff. Volunteers allow us to provide this much needed and valuable service. One of our volunteers said, “I can’t wait to come here, it’s been my day. And another said, “Volunteering here saved my life.
Better at Home volunteers have been able to help many older people by increasing their social connections (in person and over the phone), reducing emergency visits by helping older people get to their medical appointments on time and their tests, taking them to the grocery store, and providing minor home repairs. We are always looking for other ways to help seniors in the community and are working with other programs to increase our reach.
The TAPS and Better at Home programs are looking for people to join their volunteer teams as they gradually reopen in-person services. With flexible schedules and roles, you can participate in any way that suits your interests and time. For more information and to arrange an interview, please see the contact details in the attached announcement on this page.
Creston Valley volunteers