United Way Centraide North East Ontario has responded to the recent closing of Volunteer Sudbury/Benevolat Sudbury (VBS) by picking up the pieces and helping out with the volunteers matching service.
It's a service that allows volunteers to be matched up with any need that arises in the community, said Laura Beaudoin, the communications manager at United Way.
"One example is we had community gardens that needed some help with volunteers to clear out the garden beds. So we reached out to some of our networks, and we were able to contact a group to come in and help them with that," Beaudoin explained.
"So they use that as a little bit of a team-building exercise, I think, through their workplace and came in and were able to get the gardens completely cleaned out and ready and put to bed for the season," she added.
Volunteerism is as essential now as it ever was, Beaudoin said, especially in this post-pandemic period. She said she is pleased that people continue to step up when and where they're needed.
"I think at the beginning, there was a little bit of that hesitation. Now that we're kind of coming out of the pandemic and into recovery mode, we've noticed a lot more people coming out and wanting to get involved again," she said.
Beaudoin said many people in the community feel a need to help others.
"I think people are missing that volunteerism really does feed the heart. So we've noticed that there's been an influx of people coming back and wanting to get back into the community and helping out," she added.
While the closure of Volunteer Sudbury was bittersweet, said VBS board president Jessi Campbell, she said she was confident that local volunteers would be happy to work with the United Way's Volunteer Resource Centre.
"Our staff and board are grateful for this partnership and look forward to providing continued support and guidance for the successful future of the Centre," said Campbell.
Beaudoin said the easiest way to connect with United Way Centraide is through the United Way website, which is being updated.
"Our website for the volunteer portal will be live within probably the next week or so. And then we're going to be promoting and reaching out and just inviting anybody in the nonprofit, and in secondary schools, to check out the website and use it," said Beaudoin.
The news of the volunteer program was part of a United Way open house held Thursday at the Sudbury office at 957 Cambrian Heights Drive.
Len Gillis is a reporter at Sudbury.com.