In just 150 days, Canadians will be celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary and, as part of the milestone, everyone is asked to put in 150 volunteer hours.
The 150 for 150 Volunteer Challenge is led by Volunteer Ottawa in partnership with Volunteer Canada and other centres across the country.
The City of Kelowna has accepted the challenge and is upping the stakes.
On Wednesday, Mayor Colin Basran challenged residents to put in a total of 150,000 hours. While for one person, this would mean 17 years straight of volunteering, for a city of 128,000 people, the task isn’t as daunting.
“What if each person gave just one or two hours of time volunteering in a single year? You could see 150,000 is absolutely attainable and, quite honestly, we should surpass that,” said Basran.
In the city, Kelowna Community Resources is leading the charge.
Project coordinator Stephanie Moore said on average, Canadians already give 154 hours a year.
“You can aim to reach 150 hours individually or collectively with your family, friends and coworkers,” said Moore. “You can challenge yourself to give back once per week or try a new volunteer.
“Let’s all make 2017 the year to give back to our community and to Canada.”
A group of students from Okanagan Mission Secondary challenged other high schools in the area to aim for the most volunteer hours.
“At the end of the challenge, all participating teams will be given a donation to be put toward a charity or nonprofit of their choice,” said student leader, Madelyn Miyashita.
Residents and teams can all track their volunteer hours using Kelowna-born app, Volinspire, along with other volunteers from across the country. The platform, which was chosen by Volunteer Ottawa, allows volunteers to search for opportunities, track hours, share volunteer stories and inspire others to give.
The 150 for 150 volunteer challenge will run until December 31, 2017. For more information, visit the City of Kelowna website.