United Way Young Adult Council Hosts Special Event to Raise Volunteer Hours for Community

Bid on silent auction items with time instead of money and help out local non-profits

 VICTORIA, BC – Volunteering has its benefits. You get to expand your skill set and make new connections while an organization gains an extra pair of hands to increase their presence in our community. It’s a win-win solution especially for young people looking to acquire valuable work experience.

On Thursday, April 16th from 6:30 to 9 p.m., United Way’s young adult council UnitedNOW! hosts the 6th Annual Volunteering with Benefits event at the Clubhouse in the Strathcona Hotel. The silent auction style event raises volunteer hours for non-profits in Greater Victoria. Last year’s event attracted over 100 young people and raised 1,294 volunteer hours.

Unlike typical silent auctions, attendees bid on prizes with volunteer hours rather than money. The highest bidder then has up to the end of the year to complete their volunteer hours at a local non-profit or volunteer organization of their choice, in order to claim their prize.

UnitedNOW! Council Chair and avid volunteer Ashley Forseille believes more young people could benefit from volunteering. “I’ve been on the UnitedNOW! Council for two years and it’s been a great experience. I know a lot more about the social issues in Victoria and the agencies that are in place to provide services to vulnerable groups. UnitedNOW! has also helped me to make connections both personal and professional in the community, which is important as a young professional. It feels good to give back where I live.”

The UnitedNOW! Council planning committee has many new faces this year, one of them being a former Volunteering with Benefits attendee who was inspired by the event to get more involved in United Way. “I attended Volunteering with Benefits in 2014 and was very impressed with the way it was run,” says Carly Wachtin. “When I learned UnitedNOW! was recruiting new council members I jumped at the opportunity to join. I am very excited to be helping organize this year’s event.”

In addition to bidding, attendees can also connect with local organizations in need of volunteers to learn more about where they can complete their hours.

Tickets are $15 for one or $60 for five and include appetizers. To purchase tickets visit www.vwb2015.eventbrite.ca. Please note that this is a 19+ event.

About Volunteering with Benefits

The inspiration behind Volunteering with Benefits was a desire to find a creative way to foster volunteerism among young people, and raise awareness of key issues that impact vulnerable individuals and families living in Greater Victoria.

The members of UnitedNOW!, United Way’s young adult council, recognized that being able to donate money to charitable causes can be out of reach for some young people. Many students and young adults beginning their careers want to get involved in their community in a meaningful way but don’t have the financial means. Volunteering seemed a more accessible form of contribution for a demographic without a lot of cash.

But as we all know, deciding to volunteer one’s precious free time can sometimes require a little extra motivation. Moreover, choosing where to volunteer can sometimes be an overwhelming task given the number of worthy causes out there. Hence, the idea was to create a fun event that would provide additional incentive to begin volunteering, as well help to connect people to a variety of local volunteer opportunities.

About UnitedNOW!

In 2009, United Way started the UnitedNOW! program to raise awareness and develop an understanding among young people of key social issues that impact vulnerable individuals and families living throughout Greater Victoria. UnitedNOW! provides opportunities for people in their 20’s and 30’s to volunteer, become more engaged in the community and connect with United Way’s three priority areas: poverty, kids and community.

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For more information, please contact:

Heather Skydt, Communications and Marketing Director
United Way Greater Victoria
Ph: 250-984-2269
heather.skydt@uwgv.ca