Volunteer Citizen of the Year Awards

Have you heard us talk about the Volunteer Citizen of the Year Awards in the past? It’s such a special project to us, we wanted to share a bit about its history and how much it has grown – a testament to the strong and wonderful volunteering communities across North America.

It all started in Alberta in 2005. Alberta is known as a province with outstanding volunteerism – 1 in 3 Alberta residents volunteer in different ways each year. We wanted to show our appreciation to these selfless people, so we designed an award, the Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award, to honor and recognize volunteers, and hopefully inspires others along the way.

Our very first VCOY winner in 2005 was Blanche Coultis, a long-time resident of Brooks, Alberta. She served as the original volunteer librarian when the Brooks Library opened in 1949. As a volunteer with the Brooks Home and School Association for 15 years in 1967, Blanche became one of the original volunteer board members of the Brooks and District Museum and Historical Society. The retired teacher continues to support the Museum as its resident historian. Blanche created a photographic library for the museum in Brooks, has catalogued donated items and trains summer students for the museum each year.

Eight years later, the Alberta VCOY is still going strong and receiving more and more entries each year! We’ve also added awards in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and a Junior VCOY in Ontario.

But, we won’t stop there! We know there are volunteers across the United States and Canada who devote their time to a full spectrum of causes, so we want to expand the program to more cities in the future.

In the meantime, make sure you nominate an Alberta volunteer for our 2012 VCOY. Applications are being accepted until March 16, 2012.