Meet Florence, one of the newest members of AVRBC and a new rising star in the volunteer management world.
How did you get into volunteer management (VM)? What do you feel proud about? What were your major achievements? What’s your favourite part of VM?
Like many working in volunteer management, I started off as a volunteer! I always thought that volunteering would be something I could only do outside my “9-to-5 job” and never imagined that I would be working in volunteer management.
I have always been passionate about health, food security and volunteering. I had volunteered throughout my studies and continued to volunteer while working full time, even taking vacation days to volunteer at events! It wasn’t until after volunteering for Feeding the 5000 Vancouver that I realized that I could combine my passions, so I decided to pursue a new career path in volunteer management.
I am proud of my accomplishments as the Volunteer Lead Coordinator for Feeding the 5000 Vancouver – where we provided free meals made from food that would have otherwise been wasted. It was my first time leading a large-scale public event with so many unpredictable factors, but we had an incredible team of volunteers making the event a huge success! With another team of volunteers, we also hosted “Re-Plated”, a dining experience showcasing seasonal produce that would have been thrown out.
After that experience, I completed the Volunteer Management Training Series with Richmond Cares Richmond Gives (RCRG), equipping myself with the tools to kick-start my new career path. Volunteer management is incredibly rewarding and I feel fortunate to be able to empower a team of volunteers to make a greater impact than I could as one individual. Currently, I am the Coordinator, Volunteer Resources at the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre (JPOCSC) in Surrey.
My favourite part of volunteer management is being able to help people every day – both directly and indirectly, through the work of our amazing team of volunteers at JPOCSC. Whether they are providing a warm welcome and wayfinding directions to visitors in the lobby, comforting a client as they await their appointment, or supporting patients during their classes, volunteers are making a positive impact on the patient experience.
What have you gained as a member of AVRBC?
I enjoyed meeting new friends and colleagues at the AVRBC/VMPC Conference this past spring. It was a unique opportunity to learn from volunteer managers also working in healthcare and others working in a variety of not-for-profit organizations. If you haven’t been before, I would encourage you to attend the next one!