9 wonderful volunteers stand for a group photo behind a trade show booth displaying the Threads of Life logo and various materials.

Volunteers from the Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and Edmonton Steps for Life planning committees gather for a photo at the Threads of Life booth at the Alberta Construction Safety Association (ACSA) Conference in Calgary in November 2023.

As we close in on the end of 2023, our 20th anniversary year, and on International Volunteer Day, on December 5, we think of our volunteers, who have been the driving force of Threads of Life for all those 20 years, and who we want to recognize not just on certain days, but every day.

International Volunteer Day is celebrated each year on December 5. It’s a day coordinated by United Nations Volunteers to recognize and promote the important work carried out by volunteers across the globe. In 2021 it was estimated that there were 970 million people volunteering worldwide and that the value of volunteer work is roughly US$ 1.348 trillion, or 2.4 percent of the entire global economy.  

At Threads of Life, volunteers are the heart of our organization. Volunteers touch everything we do. All our programs, services and events are only possible because of the commitment of over 350 volunteers. As I write this, we have a group of new volunteers meeting for our Volunteer Family Guide and Speakers Bureau training. These newly trained volunteers will help us meet the needs of families and will share their powerful, personal stories through our Speaker’s Bureau in the hopes of preventing future workplace tragedies. 

Our Steps for Life committees across Canada have started working to plan the 2024 walks occurring in their communities. We have over 30 walks taking place across the country next year – each one planned and delivered by volunteers. 

Our Community Engagement Volunteers are helping to raise awareness of Threads of Life among their networks, and we have participated in trade shows across the country with our volunteers skillfully representing Threads of Life at our exhibit booths. 

This year we held 3 successful Regional Family Forums, monthly FamiliesConnect sessions, and countless Speakers Bureau presentations, all with the support of our volunteers. 

As Threads of Life continues to grow, we know that this will bring new opportunities for program delivery, engagement, and connection. We are excited about the prospect of discovering and creating new opportunities and ways to engage volunteers in the delivery of our mission and vision. 

On this International Volunteer Day, all of us at Threads of Life say thank you to all our volunteers. Your commitment, dedication, creativity, and passion inspire us all every day. 

“On this important day, let’s re-commit to ensuring that all people can lend their energies to shaping a better future for all people and the planet we share. Let’s stand with volunteers, everywhere.”    António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General 

Lorna Catrambone
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