Volunteers celebrated for dedication to community


“ISSofBC volunteers contribute 44,745 hours to the community each year which is equivalent to 24.6 full-time staff. You are all part of this,” said Manager of ISSofBC’s Settlement and Integration Program Thea Fiddick during Vancouver’s volunteer appreciation dinner.

ISSofBC celebrated the hard work and dedication of its volunteers at Vancouver’s Creekside Community Recreation Centre Wednesday.

“ISSofBC volunteers make a big difference in people’s lives and create a valuable change in the community,” she said to the over 100 guests attending.

The evening event included ice-breaker activities, music and speeches from current volunteers who have dedicated hundreds of hours to a variety of programs.

“I have lived in a culture where I couldn’t read the writing on the walls and I couldn’t have done it without the help of others. Now it’s time to give back,” said Omar Ilsley a current volunteer with ISSofBC’s Settlement Mentor program.

Omar has been a general volunteer, worked in the kitchen for events and helped out in the office at ISSofBC Drake Street. Currently he is a settlement mentor providing newcomers with friendship, support and tips on community resources and services.

In addition to Omar, 45 volunteers were honoured during the event with a certificate of appreciation.

The evening’s entertainment included music from piano player Shahbaz Farid and tambour player Adel Othman. Adel, a former refugee from Syria, came to Canada in May 2011.

This was the third volunteer appreciation night this year for ISSofBC. Langley and Tri-Cities hosted celebrations earlier this month. In December, ISSofBC will continue to recognize its volunteers with events in Maple Ridge, Burnaby/New Westminster and Richmond.

This is the first year ISSofBC has planned events to acknowledge volunteers in a variety of locations in a effort to bring celebrations closer to home for invited guests across the Lower Mainland.

ISSofBC provides an array of volunteer opportunities in numerous programs.

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