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The original item was published from 3/30/2016 9:12:47 AM to 1/1/2017 12:20:00 AM.

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Posted on: March 30, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Volunteerism growing in Banff

The number of volunteers giving back to the community is growing.

More than 500 volunteers donated their time to the Town of Banff’s social programs last year, showing a trend towards a growth in volunteerism in the community.

Many programs would not be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers who contributed 3,000 hours last year. BanffLIFE, Bow Valley Mentors, Motoring Munchkins, Roots of Empathy, and more all rely on residents spending a few hours each week to ensure the success of these programs.

“Volunteers are an essential part what we do,” said Michelle Backhouse, who helps coordinate the volunteer program for the Town’s FCSS department in addition to her role as BanffLIFE coordinator. “More and more people are volunteering, and we’re thankful for everyone who can spare their time to make a difference in the lives of others in the community.”

To thank those giving back to Banff, a special Volunteer Appreciation BBQ will be held Friday, April 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 110 Bear Street. The BBQ, open to anyone who has volunteered in the community, coincides with National Volunteer Week, April 10 to 16, which celebrates the contributions of volunteers throughout the country.

The Town of Banff keeps a database of volunteer opportunities at banff.ca/volunteer, listing the many ways residents can get involved in everything from sports clubs to arts & culture to environmental programs. Backhouse said volunteering with local organizations is not only a great way to give back, but it’s also a way to connect with the community, make new friends and learn more about what Banff has to offer.

“Volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved in the community,” Backhouse said. “There’s no better way to get to know a place or the people who live there than by contributing a few hours of your time to a great cause.”

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