Crisis Centre of BC asks for digital flower cards during Volunteer Appreciation Week

The Crisis Centre of BC is asking donors to send digital flower cards with notes of appreciation to volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week, rather than monetary donations. Volunteer Appreciation Week runs from April 24 to 30, 2022. Executive director Stacy Ashton and senior volunteer Ian McWater can be seen in this photo. Twitter/Crisis Centre of BC

The Crisis Centre of BC (CCBC) is asking donors to write its volunteers appreciation notes instead of sending monetary donations during Canada’s Volunteer Appreciation Week.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and back-to-back natural disasters, the organization said its phone lines rang more than 97,500 times last year. It now hopes to honour those hard-working call-takers with a “ceiling full of personal notes on cards designed to look like flowers.”

“It’s about bringing some of the joy we experience in spring into our phone room,” said Stacy Ashton, executive director of the CCBC, in a Monday news release.

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Eighty per cent of people who work the CCBC’s phone lines, including the 1-800 SUICIDE and B.C.-wide mental health hotline, are volunteers. The organization has more than 270 volunteers serving the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and Sea-to-Sky region.

More than 65 per cent of volunteers completed 250 hours of service in 2021, and within that group, 85 per cent took on training roles or service commitments, the CCBC said in its statement.

“We believe that supporting people through crisis is not something you need to have a professional credential to do,” said Ashton. “Essentially you’re talking to a highly-trained peer when you’re talking to a volunteer because we’ve all been through a crisis.”

Click to play video: 'East Vancouver neighbourhood volunteers cleaning up graffiti vandalism'
East Vancouver neighbourhood volunteers cleaning up graffiti vandalism

Volunteer Appreciation Week began on Sunday and ends on April 30.

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Digital flower cards can be found on the CCBC’s website.

Anyone in need of support during a crisis can call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) for aid anywhere in B.C., or 310-6789 (no area code needed) for mental health support.

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