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Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau’s Growing Fan Club

In Grande Prairie, volunteers are the rock stars of the community—and you might even find paparazzi showing up to take their picture while volunteering through the volunteer recognition program, Caught in the Act. Just one of the new programs and services the Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau (GPVSB) created over the last five years to illustrate the value of volunteering.

“Our impact on the community becomes more visible as the fruits of our labour become more apparent,” says Carol-Anne Pasemko, Executive Director. “As people become more aware of what we offer, we’re getting busier and busier. When you’re successful with one organization, it brings two more in the door.”

Carol-Anne describes her organization as dynamic, well-organized, and efficient. Their greatest strength she says is their adaptability and flexibility to meet the needs of their community. One way is by providing board education and training to other local nonprofits.

“They’ve gone above and beyond to ensure that at least 75% of the board has been trained by making multiple visits. Their service is essential,” says Michelle Miller, Vice President of the Clairmont Minor Hockey Club.

With a staff of only eight, GPVSB provides programs and services for local nonprofits and community volunteers such as volunteer recognition programs and awards, membership services, advisory services, professional development, and community development.

“I continuously see the way organizations benefit from GPVSB’s involvement. They offer a place for volunteer organizations to come together,” says Candi Radcliffe, an avid community volunteer. “More than half of the organizations I have worked with in Grande Prairie are members of GPVSB. I am not sure there are organizations like this in other communities in Alberta, but I definitely see the benefit of having it in ours.”

As more requests poured in from outlying areas for their services, GPVSB determined they required access to broader networks. This led them to sign up for Volunteer Alberta’s Network Leader membership to build greater capacity for their programs and services.

To address the growing demand for their services, GPVSB expanded their service area to include the entire northwest peace area by amending their bylaws. Going forward, GPVSB will explore how technology can help deliver their programs outside of their base area and all through the northwest.

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