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Lack of volunteers forces society to hire for Daffodil campaign

After being unable to find a volunteer to do the job, the Canadian Cancer Society is, for the first time, hiring a coordinator for their annual Daffodil campaign in the Cowichan Valley.

According to Tracie Clayton, the Society's coordinator of annual giving for Vancouver Island, the Society has been looking unsuccessfully for a volunteer to do the job and have now turned to the idea of a paid position, to find someone who can start by mid-February because there's work to be done.

In the past, the work has been done by a group of volunteers and many of them are still around but they have been stressed to the limit and need some relief.

"There are people there who continue to volunteer but it's a lot to ask," she said.

"Historically, the Society has attracted volunteers that are from an older generation, who would become a volunteer for charity and stay there for 25 years. That's not how volunteers work anymore. Now, they'll maybe do five years and then they will move onto something else," she said.

"We also have a huge influx of younger people who generally only stick around for one or two calendar years."

That's challenging but there are lots of knowledgeable people willing to pass on their expertise, she said.

"We are very fortunate in that regard. But it's just too much for the group of three or four individuals who basically have volunteered in the months of February, March and April and find themselves going full out."

So, who would that coordinator person be? "We need someone who's a selfstarter, very personable, who's active in the community, who's well spoken, has good telephone skills, is also good dealing with people in person and is not uncomfortable working with volunteers because in some regard it is sort of a supervisory role when you're working with other people."

Here are the hard facts. "We're looking for somebody for a total of 250 hours. We're saying mid-February to start. That month is not that busy but March is pretty well full time and then April is half-time while the beginning of May is wrap up and evaluation."

Pay will be $18 an hour. "We already have a telerecruiter in place who makes calls to past canvassers and also does cold calling to fill empty routes," Clayton said.

"Outside of the position we are hiring for, we are also looking for additional volunteers who would be interested in specific roles in the daffodil campaign. We need lots of people. We still have the daffodil pins," she said.

"They'll never go away. But the cut flower program is also continuing across the whole of Vancouver Island."

Always a popular part of the Cancer Society campaign, this push is now organized out of Victoria, with local volunteers in each community to help out.

So, if you're keen to help the Canadian Cancer Society, people are standing by just waiting to take down your particulars.

Call the Victoria regional office at 1-800-663-7892 and ask to speak to Debi Dempsey or email with your resume or information.