Rebecca Swanson started her volunteering journey back in high school and has since volunteered for over 20 years. Swanson’s involvement in volunteerism first began when her friends started to volunteer as a way to spend more time with people she knew.
However, what motivated her to volunteer after high school was the idea of supporting organizations she believed in and branching out within her community. Swanson began volunteering at organizations and charities such as: The Theatre Network, World Fit for Children, Metro Cinema Society and Edmonton’s NextGen.
One skilled volunteer and the beginning of City Jam
At Edmonton’s NextGen, Rebecca volunteered as a Strategy and Operations Chair from January 2016 to July 2017, where she played a key role in the development of City Jam. The event is a night full of live music exclusively dedicated for volunteers who generously donate their time to their community.
While brainstorming for new ideas to engage volunteers, Rebecca recalled similar events in other centers that gave back to volunteers and highlighted great music.
“City Jam was created as a way to highlight volunteerism, and to create something that hadn’t been done before in Edmonton,” says Rebecca Swanson.
The power of volunteerism and the nonprofit sector
Swanson believes volunteers make this world healthier and more vibrant. And, it is nonprofit organizations and charities that bring people together to support a cause they believe in and make their community a better place.
“The number of important initiatives that wouldn’t happen without millions of hours of volunteer time is mind-blowing if you actually step back and think about it,” says Rebecca.
Originally, NextGen City Jam was meant to be a one-time event, but the hard work volunteers put into the planning and preparation made it grow into the event it is today. Rebecca says she looks forward to seeing the event expand to meet the needs of Edmontonians.
City Jam thanks and celebrates volunteers
“I think celebrating volunteers and giving them a chance to celebrate the work they have done in a fun way is the key to this event,” says Swanson.
Swanson is proud of what City Jam has become and continues to cheer on the event. She believes that events similar to City Jam are a good example for other organizations when it comes to engaging new volunteers and thanking dedicated volunteers.
Edmonton’s NextGen consists of a group of volunteers who work together to provide a platform for new and engaging ideas to create a vibrant community. Do you want to participate in City Jam? Volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours at a local charity or nonprofit between June 1 and November 30, and then submit your hours to register to attend the concert on December 1.
Who’s performing in 2018?
- HEADLINER – TBA
- Scenic Route to Alaska
- Royal Tusk
- Cadence Weapon
Volunteer Alberta Intern