Tag Archives: volunteers

International Volunteer Managers Day

Did you know YMCA Calgary has over 1,200 volunteers? They are the engine behind many aspects of the organization and we wouldn’t be where we are today without their hard-work and generosity!

The spirit of volunteerism at the YMCA is made possible by the many individuals who support, train, and lead volunteers. November 5th is ‘International Volunteer Managers Day’.  Find a moment to thank someone who is the power behind the many super hero volunteers in our city.

A special thanks to the YMCA Calgary Volunteer Coordinators for each YMCA location for all that you you do!


Call for YMCA Calgary Board of Directors

Each year the YMCA Calgary Board of Directors reviews its composition and replaces vacancies created by ‘graduating’ board members with individuals from the Calgary community. YMCA serves the needs of our diverse community and Board composition aims to reflect that diversity. Board members, who serve a three-year term, play a governance role in supporting the strategic vision of YMCA Calgary.

We are currently seeking candidates with one or more of the following professional competencies & skills:

  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Brand Management
  • Fundraising

Consider a nomination if you are committed to playing a leadership role in our community including supporting the financial sustainability of YMCA, possess the preceding core competencies and are passionate about telling the YMCA story.

Individuals may express their interest by providing their resumes on or before February 13, 2015 to:

Prospector Executive Search & Consultants
Lachlin McKinnon

YMCA Calgary is a charitable organization driven by its mission to facilitate and promote the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of individuals and to foster a sense of responsibility with the community.

The Board of Directors is comprised of individuals committed to strategically support the YMCA in delivering on our mission.

Earth Week at YMCA Calgary

Written by Deborah Wong, International Committee Volunteer

April 22 was Earth Day and the International Committee of YMCA put on an event for a week to celebrate our members. Earth Day is not just a day where people try to care more about their environment, but also raise awareness in our community to make a change on our daily bases to make our world greener.

earth week green team

This year, International committee wanted to focus on a global environmental issue – Food waste. Every year, Canadians waste approximately 27.7 billions worth of food. One third of the food is wasted at a retail level and the other third is wasted in our homes. Overall, two thirds of the food that is produced are wasted. Food waste doesn’t just harm us financially, but it also harms our environment. The rotten food at landfills produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. Therefore, we had planned this event to encourage our members to donate food to Food Bank and contribute to our community.

Thanks to all our members support, we had successfully raised 165 pounds of food from Saddletowne and Shawnessy YMCA’s. Thank you for supporting us to continue caring about our environment and thank you for making our planet greener for our next generation.

2013 Volunteer of the Year Recipients


We’re so thankful for our amazing volunteers!

Get to know this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award Winners by reading about them and watching their award videos.


Camp Chief Hector YMCA – Adult Volunteer of the Year – Brent Harris

Brent helps corral the lively group of volunteers who organize the annual Music in the Mountains fundraiser for YMCA Strong Kids and Camp Chief Hector.

Camp Chief Hector has been a part of Brent’s life since he was a little boy. His dad even attended camp!

A true lover of the mountains and mountain life-style, Brent spends as much time as possible hiking, skiing, biking, and camping in the wilderness.


Camp Chief Hector YMCA – Youth Volunteer of the Year – Camille Wiley

Camille volunteered as part of the LIT (Leaders in Training) program at Camp Chief Hector during the summer of 2013. After just a week of training, she jumped in and co-lead a cabin with the full responsibilities of a paid staff member.

Camille’s enthusiasm, leadership to kids and her peers, and her ability to seamlessly wind lessons into fun activities made her an all-star.


Community YMCA – Adult Volunteer of the Year – Zobia Asif

Zobia began volunteering on the weightfloor and now volunteers with LINC (language instruction for newcomers to Canada).

She is enthusiastic about fitness and community and loves being able to help newcomers by practicing English with them or translating for them during fitness classes.

Zobia is passionate about the positive work the YMCA does, for her family and for others, and never shies away from sharing about it.


Community YMCA – Youth Volunteer of the Year – Priya Kumar

Priya loves math. She’s an engineer. She’s not that much older than most of the students in the tutoring program. It seemed a natural fit.

She is enthusiastic, loves the challenge of learning how to explain a math concept in a unique way, and feels like she is using her skills to contribute to her community.

Priya is always willing to help – she comes early and stays late – and her commitment and caring have made her a favourite among students and staff alike.


Crowfoot YMCA – Adult Volunteer of the Year – Bala Chandran

Bala volunteers in Member Services.
He began volunteering because he needed something to do after he retired and decided he enjoyed being at the Y.

He is friendly and welcoming and, according to other folks at Crowfoot, is always around and willing to lend a hand.

For Bala, volunteering is all about giving back to a community that has given so much to him.


Crowfoot YMCA – Youth Volunteer of the Year – Corwin Chung

Corwin volunteers as a basketball coach for Steve Nash Basketball. He really enjoys mentoring and teaching kids.

His favourite part of his weekly basketball practices is seeing the smiles on kids’ faces and watching them develop their skills and enjoy the game.

Volunteering, he says, is an important job to help give kids opportunities that may not be available without the support of volunteer coaches and teachers.


Eau Claire YMCA – Adult Volunteer of the Year – Ted Lefebvre

Ted has been volunteering with YMCA Calgary for three decades! He’s incredibly dedicated to his early morning cycling classes and loves making people smile while they work out.

He started out as a substitute instructor, and quickly began teaching a regular class. He loves interacting with the people he meets at the Y and the friendships that he has developed over the years.


Eau Claire YMCA – Youth Volunteer of the Year – Jon Mosher

Jon volunteers as a basketball coach for Steve Nash Basketball program, combining his love of teaching and basketball. He enjoys helping kids improve their skill and seeing them apply lessons during games.

For Jon, the best part of volunteering is hearing from kids and parents how his coaching has helped them achieve goals – like making their school team or scoring during a game.

He loves getting to know people at the Y and says he volunteers simply because he enjoys it.


Saddletowne YMCA – Adult Volunteer of the Year – Kristin Reid

Kristin volunteers as a fitness instructor in a variety of classes. Always willing to lend a hand, she fills in when substitute instrucors are needed.

She’s passionate about encouraging people, making them smile and helping them reach their goals.

Kristin is positive, enthusiastic, and inspires the people around her.


Saddletowne YMCA – Youth Volunteer of the Year – Bethel Afework

Bethel volunteers with Saturday preschool programs. She loves playing with the kids, helping them learn new things and getting to know families of other cultures.

She is passionate about making the preschool programs as fun for the kids, and their parents, as possible.

Volunteering, for Bethel, is a way to give back to her community. She thinks it’s important to encourage kids and give them opportunities to learn and play.


Shawnessy YMCA –  Adult Volunteer of the Year – Catherine Fah

Cath volunteers as an assistant swim instructor. With roots, training, and experience as a swim instructor in Australia, she brings lots of ideas, talent, and kangaroo songs to her classes.

Parents are excited when they hear that Cath will be helping their kids learn to swim – they know she will care for their kids and give them an incredibly fun lesson.

Ever active, Cath likes to ski, hike, and do other fun things with her family on the weekends.


Shawnessy YMCA –  Youth Volunteer of the Year – Paola Castillo Perez

Paola has been a part of Shawnessy YMCA since she was a little girl. The staff and other volunteers can’t remember a time she wasn’t around, and don’t want to!

Paola is an enthusiastic youth volunteer who currently helps with the Adventures in Leadership program for grade 5 and 6 kids. She has helped in other areas of the YMCA as well.

Even with a busy schedule of school, choir, and family commitments, Paola always makes time for her YMCA family.


South Health Campus YMCA –  Adult Volunteer of the Year – Sheila Artus

Shelia volunteers on the climbing wall and as a fitness instructor. She is passionate about health and wellness and wanted to share her excitement for fitness with others.

Encouraging children on the climbing wall and adults in fitness classes to reach their goals always puts a smile on Sheila’s face. Staff appreciate her constant presence at South Health Campus YMCA, knowing her wisdom and commitment will ensure things run smoothly.


South Health Campus YMCA –  Youth Volunteer of the Year – Sumel Lally

Sumel volunteers as a leader in Active Y kids classes and on Friday teen nights. She enjoys getting to know people and helping them find out what they like to do at the Y.

She recently came to Canada from India and started volunteering to improve her English. Since last year, her friends have noticed a huge improvement in her language skills and are asking her to help them start volunteering too.


Congratulations to all our Volunteer of the Year Recipients, and thank you for all that you do.

Volunteer of the Year Awards

Volunteer of the Year Awards

We love our volunteers.

Have you noticed how much work they do to help us out?

With 1200 volunteers who give their time, talent, and energy to help us greet people at our Member Services desks, run programs, take care of kids, and teach fitness classes – we feel like we need to thank them.

So each year, we celebrate volunteers at our Annual General Meeting and award a small number of exceptional volunteers with a Volunteer of the Year Award.

Volunteer of the Year recipients are nominated by their supervisors for making a unique contribution to our YMCA community and for consistently going the extra mile to help out. One youth and one adult from each YMCA Calgary location win the award each year.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year Recipients are:

Camp Chief Hector YMCA Brent Harris – Adult
Camille Wiley – Youth
Crowfoot YMCA Bala Chandran – Adult
Corwin Chung – Youth
Community YMCA Zobia Asif – Adult
Priya Kumar – Youth
Eau Claire YMCA Ted Lefebvre – Adult
Jon Mosher – Youth
Saddletowne YMCA Kristin Reid – Adult
Bethel Afework – Youth
Shawnessy YMCA Catherine Fah – Adult
Paola Castillo – Youth
South Health Campus YMCA    Sheila Artus – Adult
Sumel Lally – Youth

These incredible volunteers will receive their awards at the Annual General Meeting tonight at Eau Claire YMCA, 5:00pm-7:30pm. Come celebrate them with us!

LINC Students Eager to Volunteer

Our students learn more than English language skills in their LINC classes at the YMCA. LINC instructors help create a sense of belonging for their students by encouraging them to be an active part of building their new community.  With their classes, LINC students participate in many volunteer opportunities throughout the city; recently classes have sorted clothing at the Mustard Seed, cooked lunch at the Salvation Army, and worked together to gather food and clothing donations for various organizations.

Volunteering is a great way for newcomers to build job skills and engage in positively developing their new communities. LINC students are keen to volunteer on their own after the positive experiences they have volunteering with their classes. Many are especially eager to become YMCA volunteers; we have North and South LINC students volunteering in many areas at both Saddletowne and Shawnessy YMCA.

Preschool seems to be the most popular volunteer choice for LINC students at Saddletowne! There are currently 3 LINC students volunteering regularly at the Saddletowne Preschool: Musarrat, Jahan, and Shahana.  They are enjoying connecting with other YMCA staff, volunteers, and members through their work with the preschool. It’s great to see so many smiling, familiar faces giving their time and building relationships in a different area of the YMCA.

Way to go, LINC! You have really shown what it means to Belong, Grow, Thrive and Lead!

Exciting Opportunity for Volunteering with Youth

Exciting Tutor Opportunity
YMCA Calgary is seeking energetic Volunteer Mathematics Tutors interested in helping high school youth.

Why Tutoring?
Tutoring can be beneficial for youth by

  • improving academic achievement and school attendance
  • increasing self-confidence
  • providing a connection to a positive adult

Many youth cannot afford to access quality tutoring programs. Tutoring is offered at no-cost and is aimed at motivated high school students struggling in math who would otherwise not be able to afford professional tutoring services.

Volunteer Tutors Should be Comfortable

  • working with high school youth in a group setting
  • communicating and teaching to youth struggling in math
  • engaging in a positive, strengths-based approach

In addition to contributing to the positive growth and development of others, volunteer tutors will receive a YMCA Membership after 16 hours of volunteering (including training).

For more information on how you can participate, contact the Tutoring Director at dsample@calgary.ymca.ca.

Shawnessy Volunteer Recruitment – June 2013

Areas Actively Recruiting Volunteers
Shawnessy YMCA – June 2013

~Community Programs – LINC
~Group Fitness Instructors
~Weight Room

Areas that your YMCA flourishes with the help of volunteers:
Climbing Wall
Community Programs
Group Fitness Instructors
Membership Services
Laundry Services
Preschool Programming
Teen Night Monitors
Weight Room
Youth Sports & Programming

Fitness Volunteer Opportunity

Shawnessy YMCA in Calgary’s south west  is actively recruiting certified group fitness instructors to join our fabulous team of volunteer instructors!  There will be subbing opportunities as well as full classes available beginning in summer and fall 2013.

If you are group fitness certified with YMCA, AFLCA or Can-Fit-Pro, click here to check out the posting.

Congratulations to the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Winners!

Here at YMCA Calgary, we are extremely fortunate to have over 1100 volunteers work together with YMCA staff to provide more than 100,000 hours of time and talent each year. Volunteers help us build communities that are vibrant and healthy; a place where children, youth and adults belong, grown, thrive and lead.

This year, we have selected thirteen outstanding volunteers who have made a difference in our community.

2012 Volunteer of the Year Winners:

Rebekah Sharrock – Association Services Adult Volunteer

Dave Pokrandt – Camp Chief Hector Adult Volunteer

Kyle Wegrzynowski – Camp Chief Hector Youth Volunteer

Earl Cardinal – Community YMCA Adult Volunteer

Teresa Li – Community YMCA Youth Volunteer

Al Hathaway – Crowfoot YMCA Adult Volunteer

Sarah McCarthy – Crowfoot YMCA Youth Volunteer

Ray Schmidt – Eau Claire YMCA Adult Volunteer

Chiara Toselli – Eau Claire YMCA Youth Volunteer

Dhaivat Dave – Saddletowne YMCA Adult Volunteer

Aldo Divine – Saddletowne YMCA Youth Volunteer

Barb Leteta – Shawnessy YMCA Adult Volunteer

Una Mrdja – Shawnessy YMCA Youth Volunteer

Congratulations to each and every one of you!