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Posted by Div on April 18, 2019

Volunteers are the foundation to any healthy community. Their selflessness and meaningful contributions to their communities should never go unnoticed, even more so during Volunteer Appreciation Month.

Yes, you heard that right. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! It’s the time of the year when we go above and beyond to recognize volunteers in our community and thank them for their selfless passion and dedication.

Our leadership team had the exciting opportunity to attend Volunteer MBC’s “Volunteer Oscars” last Friday. BTI was a proud sponsor of the Leader in Volunteer Engagement Award, and our CCO, Parveen, had the honour of presenting the award to recipient, Karmela Budzon, of Active Adult Centre Mississauga (AACM).

Karmela coordinates AACM’s Telephone Reassurance Program, providing regular check-in calls for people in need. Karmela, who is visually impaired, is recognized as a role model for many in our service population who are also managing their own disabilities. Her strength, courage, and ability to overcome all obstacles are hallmarks of her leadership style.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to shout out some of our connectors for their ongoing contribution to their community.

Sheryl & Myca

While planning for my second dog, I decided I wanted to get involved with my local long-term care facility and introduce my four-legged companion to the joys of pet therapy. Myca and I are an active St John Ambulance Certified Therapy Dog team. We visit seniors on weekends where they can speak to, pet, or just be with a four-legged creature who doesn't care that they don't speak like others, walk like others or spend a little longer getting their thoughts across. We love our work and hope others will join the cause of giving forward, giving back and just giving.

Craig

I have been a volunteer hockey coach for the Meadowvale Hockey Association for the past three years. This means a lot of late nights and busy weekends, but it’s worth it to see the joy it brings to the players. All young hockey players need to work on their skating, passing and shooting, but they also often need help with confidence and self-esteem. Providing an inclusive environment for a sport like hockey is essential and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Shashi

I have been volunteering with Run for the Cure since 2011. This year marks my 9th year of volunteering with them. I have been able to use some of my event planning experience, serving as a committee member for the Richmond Hill/Markham run site for 7 of those years. After months of work and planning, it's always so rewarding to see the smiling faces of the participants on Run Day raising money for a good cause. I have been able to recruit a lot of my extended family to come out and volunteer with me on Run Day.

Thera-lee

Every Thursday I volunteer at the YMCA helping teach taekwondo. I run warm ups and assist on the matts teaching taekwondo skills such as kicking, punching, sparring, and doing demos with the kids.

Div

In October of 2018 I got involved with Future Possibilities for Kids. This not-for-profit organization pairs “KidCoaches” with kids from various at-risk neighbourhoods in the GTA, and runs a year-long program that has KidCoaches and Kids talking on the phone every week in efforts to achieve a predetermined goal. This year, my Kid and I came up with the idea to start a clean-up committee at his school to protect the environment. Within 5 months he had an action plan, a team name, some members, and support from his school. They now clean up every Tuesday at lunch!

TeamBTI

To show our support for Earth Day, our team put some time aside to care for the environment. We showed support for our community by conducting a team cleanup of the Vic Johnson Memorial Park across the street from our studio! The team was thrilled to be making a difference out in the sun on such a beautiful day. We filled up several garbage bags with miscellanious trash from all over the park, and we hope to collect even more next time!