“Volunteers are worth at least triple their weight in gold,” says Barbara Zerter, Chaplain and Coordinator of Spiritual Care Services at Residence Saint-Louis, a seniors caring complex in east-end Ottawa.“It would be extremely difficult to do all the things we do without them. We could use so many more volunteers.”
Her experience reflects the contribution that volunteers make to so many organizations in Canada in social services, arts and culture, sports and recreation, and health and education. According to the National survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations in the last year, Canadians volunteer two billion hours a year to more than 161, 000 nonprofit organizations. The survey also found that more than seven million Canadians volunteer their time and energy to help these organizations survive and provide service to the community.