Volunteer Centre celebrates decade of connecting volunteers


In the decade that the South Okanagan-Similkameen Volunteer Centre (SOSVC) has existed, it has brought a sense of community that volunteerism helps promote. Volunteering gives people the opportunity to make a valued contribution and feel part of the community.

“SOSVC is the hub for volunteering,” says Jo Charnock, Board secretary for the SOSVC. “It provides vital resources and information for people wanting to volunteer and for a wide range of organizations who rely on the generosity of volunteers as part of their operations.”

Since starting 10 years ago, the SOSVC has provided leadership training and resources for 150 charities in the region. It has connected thousands of volunteers to community needs, created outreach for older volunteers -  the gems of our community as well as providing monthly gatherings to support volunteers and promote non-profit societies and the need for volunteers.

“There are many events, charitable programs and community services, which would not be able to operate without volunteers,” says Charnock. “SOSVC has the expertise and tools to offer valuable education and training to both staff and volunteers that many charitable organizations and nonprofits would have difficulty sourcing on their own.”

Charnock is proud that during COVID-19,  SOSVC has not only found a way to keep going, but thrive. This happened through rebranding, an increased digital presence and the creation of new materials to stay relevant and continue to offer invaluable services to volunteers and organizations.

Laura Turnbull, a SOSVC Board treasurer of six-plus years, says she has watched member organizations thrive as volunteers share their time and energy.

“Knowing that each year over 800 registered volunteers and thousands of other community volunteers have been touched by the SOSVC means that the values of volunteering are well recognized in our community,” says Turnbull, who finds it rewarding being part of the board working in partnership with staff to ensure quality services are offered. “I dream that the Volunteer Centre will continue to grow and will offer at least another 10 years of valuable service to our area.” -30-