Why you should thank a volunteer

Time to celebrate and thank Canada's 12.7 million volunteers for the selfless work they do

It’s National Volunteer Week in Canada. For the record, thanks and praise from the Governor General and the Prime Minister.

Governor General David Johnston:

Happy National Volunteer Week, Canada! Everybody knows this week is all about giving, but have you ever stopped to ask yourself why giving matters?

You may answer: Because giving your time, talent or treasure to a good cause helps people in need. Or, because giving helps us to connect with people in our communities. Or, because it’s simply the right thing to do.

And all of those reasons are true of course! But there’s an even deeper reason why giving matters, and it has to do with the kind of country we want to live in. Every time you give, you make a statement that says: this is the Canada we want. A Canada that cares. A Canada that’s compassionate. A Canada where we help each other and all those in need.

Giving speaks volumes about the way we imagine our communities and our country. It may not always feel like you’re making a statement when you give, but you are—and guess what? It’s an important statement. It’s a statement we should feel proud to make from coast to coast to coast.

I’ve always believed in the importance of giving in our lives and society. That’s why volunteerism and philanthropy are two of my top priorities as governor general. That’s why we launched My Giving Moment a few years ago, a social marketing campaign to encourage giving among all Canadians, especially younger generations. And that’s why I’ll be delighted to hand out a new medal for the first time this week to recognize our most caring, compassionate citizens.

It’s called the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, and as an official Canadian honour, it builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award in recognizing exceptional volunteers. This medal is driven by nominations from everyday Canadians who know their communities best.

I’m sure that you know someone who deserves a medal from their country for their dedication to others.Well, now you have a chance to give them that medal! So, who inspires you? Well, nominate them!

During this National Volunteer Week, share your story, thank a volunteer, join the conversation and nominate someone for Canada’s new Medal for Volunteers.

This week is dedicated to celebrating volunteerism, and I offer all volunteers in Canada my sincere kudos for showing such generosity and caring.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“This week is National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate and thank Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers for the selfless work they do to help those around them.

“The theme for this year’s campaign—Volunteers are the roots of strong communities—recognizes that volunteers are at the heart of healthy and resilient communities.

“We each have the power to make the world a better place. We can help a senior citizen who can no longer drive, mentor a young person in an after-school program, or welcome Syrian refugees to their new country. Volunteers look for opportunities to contribute their time, passion, and skill to make a positive difference in the lives of others. They believe—and know—that better is always possible.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I want to thank all the volunteers who every day accomplish extraordinary things and make Canada a great place to live.”