Volunteers are the engine of the organization – Lake Country Calendar

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After beginning as a UBC Okanagan student club in 2016, Age-Link became a fully incorporated company in May 2021 with a mission to address the growing concern of social isolation among seniors and students. Through their slogan “We Grow Together”, Age-Link Society creates opportunities and spaces for different ages to connect and form long-term friendships. After founding the original club, Patience Spinoza Okuku felt that the organization’s success in enriching the Kelowna community by bridging the age gap between students and seniors in the community was a good model to replicate in starting chapters in Canadian universities, seniors’ residences and high schools. schools.

“At Age-Link, our members or volunteers focus on building reciprocal friendships with each other in different age groups,” says Patience. “All Age-Link events are free to remove barriers to participation.”

“Volunteering with Age-Link is more than a job, it’s a way of life! It’s friendship! It makes it easy and natural,” adds Patience, who himself volunteers in his role as CEO. “Being part of the Age-link society allows its members to be part of a larger mission that goes beyond the Kelowna community alone. They have the opportunity to form reciprocal friendships and the different age groups enjoy each other and discover different cultures and geographies. »

Volunteers can help create or participate in networking and social events organized by the Age-Link company in partnership with nursing homes. Events take place regularly and volunteers have the opportunity to attend whenever their schedule allows. The roles are very flexible. In-person events are currently following public health guidelines in accordance with COVID-19 protocols and they are also hosting virtual events.

“Volunteer roles include student mentor, event coordinator, community mobilizer who will find more seniors to join Age-Link, and fundraiser or grant-maker for resource mobilization,” explains Spinoza. “Times, timing and attendance are all flexible. Volunteers will need to be fully vaccinated to attend events in person. Unvaccinated people are invited to volunteer virtually.

“The volunteers have made us achieve everything we have been able to achieve so far”, enthuses Spinoza. “As a new and growing organization, we do not have adequate financial resources to remunerate staff. Therefore, we rely on volunteers to carry out the mission and vision of our organization. Volunteers allow us to direct the funds we have towards programming. Volunteers are the engine of Age-Link.

More importantly, volunteers share their time, experiences and wisdom, which is an invaluable gift. »

“As a member of Age-Link myself, I was able to build a family for myself,” Spinoza concludes. “I have a Canadian mother and grandmother whom I met at Age-Link. I spent with them some of my fondest memories in Canada, they met my Ugandan family members during their visit. These Age-Link members or volunteers are my family! »

If you want to grow together and enjoy a multi-generational social experience, contact Age-Link at [email protected] or find your opportunity on VolunteerConnector at www.kcr.ca.

Dorothee Birker is Communications and Development Coordinator for KCR Community Resources. If you are interested in sharing your volunteer or organizational news, please contact Dorothée at [email protected].

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