Mow someone’s lawn and count it towards your volunteer hours. (submitted)

Help Cowichan win Volunteer 150 Challenge

Have an extra 150 hours on your hands you want to give to a good cause? Volunteer Cowichan hopes so.

Volunteer Cowichan, in collaboration with volunteer centres from across the country, is participating in the Canada 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge.

“This volunteer challenge requires volunteers all over Canada to try and reach a minimum of 150 volunteer hours within the year of 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Volunteer Cowichan summer student Kaitlyn Lee.

So how does it work?

It is a city to city challenge. Each city will be recognized by their number of total hours and will compete alongside other cities to be ranked the highest. All volunteers from each city will be recognized for their hard work, volunteer time and dedication to making a difference.

The challenge is meant to bring a city together to reach a common goal, Lee noted.

“We as a city, need to work together to log our hours in hopes of being the top city on the Island,” said Lee.

Two different types of volunteering count.

Formal volunteering is what you do as part of an established cause or non-profit organization’s activities.

Lee gave an example of doing work with Volunteer Cowichan’s ‘Better at Home’ program.

Informal volunteering is something many of us do without realizing: just helping out our neighbours: mowing their lawn, helping with their groceries, that kind of thing.

Keeping track is a breeze thanks to the internet.

“Using an online platform and mobile app, challenge participants can track their hours and tell their volunteer stories,” said a press release. “Visit our local volunteer tracking platform at volinspire.com/u/u8KLIdMlpv. With a special focus on New Canadians, Aboriginals, seniors and youth, the challenge will culminate in a ceremony in Ottawa to recognize those individuals who contributed the most hours in each province and territory, and the city that contributed the greatest number of volunteer hours.”

On Dec. 5 a celebration dinner will be held at the Duncan Community Lodge to honour those who completed the challenge. It’ll run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with awards and dinner. Check out details on Volunteer Cowichan’s Facebook and Instagram pages (@volunteercowichan) as that date nears.

To track and record your hours for the challenge register at volinspire.com/u/u8KLIdMlpv.

Those looking for volunteer opportunities or who have questions about the challenge can call Volunteer Cowichan at 250-748-2133 or email vc@volunteercowichan.bc.ca

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