April 23, 2014 8:16 pm

WATCH: Kelowna’s 30 day difference

KELOWNA — There’s an enormous need for volunteers at various not-for-profit organizations in Kelowna. That according Cally Cross, a local woman who is taking volunteering to a new level.

From serving food at the food bank to visiting with seniors at Kelowna’s Seniors Outreach Centre, the 24-year-old life coach has taken the month of April off to volunteer.

The Twist? She’s helping at a different organization everyday to encourage Kelowna residents to get out and donate even just a few hours of their time.

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Having started the initiative which she called “The 30 Day Difference” on April 1st, Cross is in the third week of the project and said her efforts have been justified time and time again.

“Pretty much every organization I went to was either short on volunteers or needed volunteers continuously, so the need is huge,” said Closs.

While it’s important to have dedicated long term volunteers, Closs said she doesn’t think people realize the impact just a couple hours can have.

“That’s what I wanted was just to move people into volunteering one day and lots of these organizations are looking for long term, committed volunteers, but the turnover of volunteers is high so they will take any person they can get.”

Closs’s friend, Kyla Krisa, said the effort was an eye-opener for her. She was surprised both by the vast majority of services offered by organizations in Kelowna and by how many people need them.

“I’ve lived in the Okanagan for 28 years and I had no idea that half these organizations existed… it’s just shown me that one person can make a remarkable difference you know, she’s gone above and beyond to show Kelowna [what] we can really do if we put our minds to it,” said Krisa.

While Closs’s challenge is only for 30 days, she says the volunteering won’t stop there. She plans to continue spending time at various organizations in Kelowna and encouraging other people to do the same.

For more information on volunteer opportunities from Cally Closs, you can visit her website at: http://www.callycloss.com.

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