The Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue has representatives from groups around the Osgoode area setting up booths to let locals know how to get involved with their individual projects. Pictured from left, OVCA chair Tony Barresi, ROSSS communications manager Leeanne Van der Burgt, NROCRC CDF rural program co-ordinator Carley Scarf, Osgoode Scouts scouter Karen McNaught, president of the Osgoode Lions Club Bob Cooper, and Girl Guides of Canada guider Elissa Gustafson.       Glover photo

OSGOODE – In appreciation for all the volunteers within the Osgoode area, the Nepean, Rideau and Osgoode Community Resource Centre (NROCRC) and the Osgoode Village Community Association (OVCA), a free appreciation barbecue was held at the Osgoode Youth Association Sat., Sept. 15.

“This is essentially a volunteer appreciation barbecue but we’re also using it to recruit more volunteers for future projects,” said Carley Scharf, CDF rural program co-ordinator for NROCRC. “This is run under the OVCA and they’re hosting it to thank all of the locals who volunteer for different groups like girl guides, OVCA and all of those places. So, just thanking everyone in the community for lending a hand.”

Different organizations including the Osgoode Lion’s Club, the scouts, Rural Ottawa South Support Services (ROSSS), the girl guides and OVCA set up booths to share information of how others in the community can lend a hand in future projects.

“To try and recruit more volunteers, we have different organizations from around the area to share information of how to get involved, if they don’t already know how to,” said Scharf. “All the groups have their different number of volunteers to celebrate. For example, if you’re looking under OVCA’s umbrella, you’re probably looking at about 50 volunteers. For the community as a whole, I wouldn’t even begin to know how to count them.”

Scarf also wanted to break a misconception about the idea of volunteering. That it doesn’t need to be 40 hours of solid work or a big commitment.

“People have this idea that volunteering is putting a weekly commitment or hours upon hours of work but sometimes it just means 20 minutes of setting up barricades for a parade,” she said. “Any little bit of help or contribution counts. There’s no such thing as unwanted help.”

Scharf hopes that the volunteers feel appreciated because of the barbecue and that it will recruit volunteers for future events in the village including Christmas in the Village and Canada Day.

“I’m very appreciative of everything our volunteers have done for us over the years and I hope they can continue to contribute to our upcoming events,” she said. “We’re always looking for help and appreciate all the hours that we’re given.”