• John Jantak

L’Actuel launches volunteer recruitment drive


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

(Left to right) Yvan Cardinal, Deputy Prefect MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges and Mayor of Pincourt; Richard Dubois, Communications and Associational Life Director at Caisse Desjardins Vaudreuil-Soulanges; Raymond Larouche, Mayor of Les Cèdres and president of the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges Social Development Table; Fimba Tankoano, Executive Director of the Fédération des centres d’action bénévole du Québec; Francine Plamondon, Executive Director of Centre d’action bénévole L'Actuel; Marie-Claude Nichols, Liberal MNA for Vaudreuil; and Yvon Lauzon, Chair of the Board of L'Actuel.

A shortage of volunteers throughout the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region has prompted Centre d’action bénévole L’Actuel to launch a public awareness campaign aimed at recruiting more volunteers to fill much-needed roles within the community, announced Executive Director Francine Plamondon during a press conference at L’Actuel headquarters in Vaudreuil-Dorion on April 16.

In recent years, L'Actuel has seen a decline in its number of volunteers. It also has difficulty recruiting new ones. “Volunteers have less time to give, so we need to recruit more. For every volunteer who leaves, we must recruit three more volunteers to replace that person in their task,” said Plamondon.

Recruitment campaign

In response to the recruitment challenge, L'Actuel has devised a volunteer recruitment campaign called Je bénévole dans Vaudreuil-Soulanges. A brochure containing volunteer ideas based on people's interests will be distributed throughout the region to highlight the large scope of available opportunities.

According to provincial statistics, Quebec has the lowest rate of volunteerism for people aged 16 to 65 across Canada, a reality that Plamondon would like to change. People interested in volunteering should consider their abilities, things that make them happy, what they like to do and motivation when considering volunteer objectives, said Plamondon.

“For example, a person who likes to be active can coach a sports team, deliver meals, move furniture or do gardening. The goal of the campaign is to awaken citizens' interest in helping others by targeting their interests,” said Plamondon.

Political support

Provincial Liberal MNA Marie-Claude Nichols attended the event and stressed the importance that volunteers bring to all municipalities through their charitable actions. “They help our communities. It’s important to have volunteers who give their time to help other people,” Nichols told The Journal.

MRC Deputy-Prefect and Pincourt Mayor Yvan Cardinal noted that the town worked with L’Actuel to recruit volunteers when the municipality launched its social development policy more than three years ago. He said the organization is a mainstay throughout the region for its ability to recruit qualified and enthusiastic volunteers.

Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon said his city has always been committed to supporting L’Actuel and the various volunteer organizations in his community. The dedication of volunteers enabled the city to chart a positive course through the enhancement of cultural diversity, he said.

The large turnout of around 300 volunteers during the flood emergency last spring showed remarkable community spirit and helped to minimize damage, said Pilon.

Positive experience

To showcase the benefits of volunteerism, six video capsules were produced that showcase its positive aspects. Each segment features volunteers from the region who describe the benefits and pleasure they receive by donating their time. The first capsule, unveiled at the press conference, featured Julie-Ann Potvin offering respite to another mother.

“When I found out that L’Actuel was looking for volunteers to give moms a break, I really saw myself doing that. I enjoyed my experience. I loved the link I created with babies. Volunteering is really good for moms and it makes me feel good too,” said Potvin in her segment.

The six segments will be available on the L’Actuel Facebook page over the next few months at www.facebook.com/LActuelCentreActionBenevole/.

L’Actuel is a non-profit organization that has served the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region for over 30 years. It also operates the Boutique-Friperie L’Actuel thrift shop located at 88 rue Adèle in Vaudreuil-Dorion. People interested in volunteering can contact L’Actuel at (450) 455-3331 or the Centre d’action bénévole Soulanges at (450) 285-3134. Additional information is at the Fédération des centres d’action bénévole du Québec website at www.jebenevole.ca/.

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