VOLUNTEER TERRACE celebrated its 20th year on a low key with a lunch at its annual general meeting earlier this month.
For 10 of those years, Lovina Tyler has been executive director but is planning to retire. She will remain on the board of directors.
Right now, she’s job sharing with Rosemary Craig, and both are temporary part-time executive director.
Tyler said volunteering leads to so much more for people, especially for getting a job and building self-esteem.
One of the first things she did after she started with the organization, then called the Terrace Volunteer Bureau, was helping a single mother get off welfare and into a job.
That person is now working in a high position in Vancouver, said Tyler.
Tyler has seen young people come into the office with no job experience and feeling that no one wants to hire them but as soon as they volunteer for a while, they get a letter of reference from Volunteer Terrace and they take off from there.
“It raises their confidence and self-esteem,” she says.
Volunteer Terrace is one place open to all ethnic groups and ages.
“When Eurocan closed, it was grand central station here,” says Tyler about how busy the Volunteer Terrace was with people coming in to look for volunteer opportunities to get back on their feet and have something to do.
She credits program coordinator Leeanne Van Herd with finding jobs for people at that time.
Its importance in the community means it needs to get its gaming grants restablished as it relies on that money.
Grant money to organizations was cut earlier this year.