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Volunteers power West Island community organizations

WATCH ABOVE: Erica Fox explains why volunteering makes her feel so good.

MONTREAL — From April 13 to 19, National Volunteer Week is being celebrated across Canada.

Seven days have been set aside to acknowledge our kind-hearted neighbours who give their time to help others.

Volunteer West Island kicked off the week with a party featuring a traditional sugar-shack theme.

The organization focuses on recruiting, training and referring volunteers within Montreal’s West Island community.

They have recruited close to 20,000 volunteers during their 40 years on the West Island and nearly 100 of them came out for the party on Monday.

Global News interviewed some of the volunteers who attended the celebration in order to get know what they do, and why they do it.

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Margo Donavan told us about how much joy she has gotten from running the West Island Seniors Cafe for the past 11 years.

WATCH ABOVE: Margo Donavan talks to Jamie Orchard about the West Island Seniors Cafe

Ted Saito talked about how he was looking for direction following his retirement in 2004 and found purpose through volunteering. Now he delivers food for meals on wheels, organizes gold tournaments for various organizations and drives patients to appointments at the Lakeshore General Hospital.

WATCH ABOVE: Ted Saito talks to Jamie Orchard about volunteering

Denise Stodja shared her inspiring story about becoming a Canadian citizen. She said that when she took the oath, she realized that part of being Canadian meant giving back to your community. She is currently co-chair of the knitting foundation at the Lakeshore General Hospital.

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WATCH ABOVE: Denise Stojda explains how she turns a passion for knitting into funds for the Lakeshore

Gerry Yassa is in the process of training to become a volunteer with palliative care patients at St. Mary’s Hospital. Gerry told us he started volunteering after he suffered an illness.

“A lot of people helped me,” he said. “It affected my life in a very positive way, once I was better and I was able to give back I did so.”

WATCH ABOVE: Gerry Yassa explains his decision to become a volunteer

Erica Fox volunteers at the Nova thrift shop in Ste. Anne de Bellevue. She explained how volunteering helps keep her young, and how the thrift shop has grown from 9 volunteers 10 years ago, to almost 200 today. During that time they have donated $3.5 million to Nova.

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If any of these stories have inspired you to volunteer, feel free to reach out to Volunteer West Island, and they can match you with a deserving charity.