COQUITLAM, B.C., April 20, 2021 – Quietly and without fanfare, Coquitlam volunteers have delivered more than 20,000 meals to seniors, picked up litter, shoveled sidewalks, helped support recreation activities, and much more over the past year.
While volunteers always have a positive impact on the community, their efforts and kindness have been keenly felt during the pandemic. During National Volunteer Week April 18 to 24, Coquitlam is applauding those who have put their own needs aside to serve their community during this time of challenge and uncertainty.
The Impact of Volunteers
Hundreds of volunteers have stepped forward in the past year to give back through the City’s new and modified volunteer programs. New supports for seniors, for example, included the Meals for Seniors meal delivery and pickup program, along with phone calls and letters providing seniors with companionship and cheer.
In Meals for Seniors’ first year, 26 volunteer drivers delivered more than 20,600 meals to 4,109 homes, for a total of 1,046 hours and 5,263 kilometres. Additional volunteers helped out on Remembrance Day, when meals for veterans were donated by community members, and at Christmas, when 457 meals were delivered to 150 homes in a span of two hours.
Other volunteer efforts in the past year included:
- More than 85 people signed up to chat by phone with local seniors, and more than 150 submissions of artwork, cards and letters for seniors were received;
- Sixty volunteers signed up to be a Snow Angel and supported 30 households of seniors and others unable to shovel their sidewalks;
- A number of volunteer tax preparers helped low-income seniors file tax returns;
- Dozens of City volunteers have joined in the City’s modified leadership opportunities, assisted with children’s camps and supported drop-in sport and youth programs during the pandemic;
- Numerous community volunteers supported local sports associations that have been working hard to provide safe opportunities – many at City facilities such as sports fields and the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex; and
- More than 145 individuals and groups helped keep Coquitlam neighbourhoods clean through the City’s Adopt-A-Street program, including 44 new members in 2020. In total, approximately 190 kilometres of street have been adopted. Dozens more helped keep public spaces tidy and safe through City programs to adopt a park and trail.
Finding Volunteer Opportunities Online
Coquitlam offers a variety of opportunities to make a difference in the community, with safety protocols in place to protect volunteers. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/volunteers for information about volunteering in Coquitlam and opportunities such as:
- Parks, Recreation and Culture – Volunteers work in a variety of areas, including swimming, skating, fitness, aquatics, outdoor recreation, children and seniors’ programs, and special events.
- Adopt programs – Individuals, families, groups or businesses become stewards for parks, trails, streets and – more recently – dog parks. Volunteers clean up garbage and report problems, hazards or vandalism.
- Community policing – Volunteers may work with the public at the Community Police Station, help write reports, patrol neighbourhoods and support new initiatives.
- Park Spark – Volunteers assist with drop-in activities, take part in group park projects and help add new amenities.
- Seniors support programs – Volunteers assist with Meals for Seniors deliveries and provide social connection (see www.coquitlam.ca/meals).
More information about volunteering can also be found in the special Volunteer Week edition of Coquitlam’s City Page updates, published in the April 15 edition of the Tri-City News and linked through www.coquitlam.ca/connect.
Register and Stay Informed
To sign up for activities and to keep up-to-date on program offerings and updates:
Stay informed about City news and service changes by:
Community recreation Manager
City of Coquitlam