By MARINA SACHT
Did you know that volunteers live longer and are happier. It’s a fact!
You time is valuable, and you already know the importance of volunteers to our community.
In this and future editions of TAKE 5 we will be highlighting volunteer opportunities within local service clubs, and not-for-profit groups.
The goal is to build a comprehensive guide that will be available to the community.
Give us a call to be included.
There is a wide range of clubs, groups and organizations that have one thing in common — volunteers.
“Without volunteers we would have a hard time doing the programs we do,” says Jennica Graham, vice president of the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association who values the important role they play in the LRCA.
The LRCA is a non-profit charity that offers resources and services that enhance the quality of life in Ladysmith and surrounding area.
Some of the programs include the Food Bank, the soup kitchen, cold weather shelter, community wellness, family and youth support, restorative justice, counselling and family support. The LRCA has a large number of resources and if they don’t have the program, they will point you in the right direction. 250-245-3079.
There are many volunteer opportunities through their programs in addition to these, the LRCA is looking for retired counsellors and/or MA practicum students in counselling programs to help provide services for their Volunteer Counselling Program. Volunteers are needed every Wednesday night for Bingo, and the Food Bank is always looking for volunteers for both bagging (Monday mornings) and distributing (Tuesday mornings). The Ladysmith Soup Kitchen runs out of Bethel Church, Tuesday & Thursday from 2pm-4pm, and could also use a hand.
Ladysmith Dragon Boat Club
Another one of Ladysmith’s success stories is the Ladysmith Dragon Boat Club whose members volunteer many hours to keep the membership engaged with the community.
Many of them volunteer at the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s Pirate Days as well as offering rides at the Heritage Boat Festival. The club which recently celebrated its 10th season has two teams made up of recreational and racing paddlers that compete in other communities.
The club was established in 2010 and has been a huge success since its inception. Founding member Susan Erickson and Denise Pearson were inspired to start the club after watching dragon boating in other communities.
Susan recalled “I thought, why is there not a team here since we have such as great harbour?”
They bought their used (2003) Dragon Boat in early April 2010 from GO Rowing and Paddling Association of Canada based out of Victoria.
The boat is 47.5 feet long and weighs about 870 pounds. “We have 22 on the boat; 20 paddlers, a steers person and a coach,” explains Susan.
The purchase price was $10,000 but within months generous donations from the Ladysmith & District Credit Union and the 49th Parallel Grocery store along with membership fees had the boat paid off that summer.
A board of directors maintains all the legal and financial responsibilities, and provide leadership for a multitude of jobs including membership, coaching, moorage, maintenance, events, courses for steering and coaching, and community volunteering.
Over the past 10 years hundred of ladies from the Ladysmith, Cedar and Chemainus areas have been involved.
The Dragon Boat is moored at the Ladysmith Maritime Society docks and during the season the two teams practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from April until the end of September.
“It’s a great group of women,” says Susan pointing out that although the paddlers are dormant during winter a number of offshoot groups have formed. “We have two book clubs, two ukulele groups, pickle ball and walking groups.”
Members range from 20 to 80 years old. There are over 60 members and at this time there is a wait list to join the club.
“I’m glad I did it,” says Erickson. “It’s been my social group.”
Ladysmith Little Theatre
The Ladysmith Little Theatre, located in a renovated schoolhouse in the Diamond, is a theatrical company that presents up to six productions each year, adding to the arts and culture in our community.
All cast and crew of Ladysmith Little Theatre are community theatre volunteers. LLT has many volunteer opportunities that include acting, stage design and building, props, lighting, front of house, costumes, publicity and many more roles that you can play. LLT also holds Improv sessions on the 1st and 3rd Friday of every month. Give them a call at 250-924-0658.
Ladysmith & District Historical Society
The Ladysmith & District Historical Society is a volunteer organization that ensures effective collection and preservation of all historically significant records and artifacts and promotes their use for education and research.
Volunteers are needed for: Ladysmith Museum: Documentation, preservation, create & arrange exhibits, and tours. Industrial Heritage: Located in the former Comox Logging buildings site, 614 Oyster Bay Drive. Saturdays from 9 am to noon. Hands on work preserving industrial artefacts, research, promotion. Archives: The Archives are managed by a part time professional Archivist with help from volunteers.
For these and other volunteer opportunities please call 250-245-0100 or info [at] ladsymithhistoricalsociety [dot] ca