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Dear Volunteers: You Are Improving Lives Locally

Volunteers
Dear Volunteers: You Are Improving Lives Locally
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About the Author

Brad Park

Brad Park

Brad Park is the President & CEO at United Way Halton & Hamilton. Prior to that he was the executive director of Brant United Way. He has his Bachelor of Arts in Management and Economics from the University of Guelph.

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Volunteers are the heroic backbone of any community, and critical to the ongoing work of United Way supported agencies across Halton and Hamilton.

More than 12,000 volunteers contributed an incredible 56,000 volunteer hours, to these agencies last year. That is equivalent to a direct investment worth more than $1.3 million.

Without regard to payment, benefits, or recognition of any kind; these are people who translate their #LocalLove into action. They walk the walk, when it comes to civic responsibility, leadership, kindness, compassion, and willingness to pitch in. They make our communities better places to live, especially for the most vulnerable among us.

During National Volunteer Week, April 19-25, please join me in thanking the volunteers in Burlington, Halton Hills, Hamilton, Milton, and Oakville, who undertake acts of selflessness and generosity, each and every day. Their dedication and commitment means we can tackle #UNIGNORABLE challenges.

Your United Way remains committed to supporting more of our friends, family, and neighbours who are battling poverty, struggling to adjust to their new homeland, suffering from domestic violence; going without food or shelter, living in loneliness, and facing mental illness and addiction.

The reality is that we are facing a need for a volunteer spirit, that we have not seen in decades. The global pandemic is accentuating the need for human connection and unity, to overcome all the challenges we face. In fact, the United Way was born out of bringing together volunteer programs during times of crisis.

I am truly humbled and amazed by the acts of volunteerism and valour at every turn in our communities over these past few weeks. Neighbours are helping neighbours, strangers are reaching out to those in need, and businesses are finding ways to answer the call.

That is the beating heart of volunteerism, and it will get us through. We are truly living in extraordinary times, and that is when extraordinary people shine.

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