Around Alberta: Drumheller

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity for organizations across the country to commemorate and celebrate their volunteers. Volunteer Alberta works alongside the Government of Alberta to provide funding to help celebrate these communities. Every community chooses to celebrate this  event in a different way, so today we are going to take a closer look at Drumheller. We want to introduce Heather from the Drumheller FCSS, who has answered some questions about National Volunteer Week, navigating the pandemic, and more!

Get To Know Heather:  

Heather is the Community Development Coordinator at Drumheller FCSS. One thing she appreciates most about her volunteers and community is the way they come together. In February 2023, Drumheller hosted a “Family Day Unplugged” event with a wide variety of volunteers, ranging from teenagers to folks who had recently retired. She loves the mix of people who come together and make new connections that they otherwise would not have.  

A Background of Drumheller FCSS:  

Drumheller FCSS focuses on preventative social services, which are the things that help people build “resiliency, competency, and social connections.” This allows them to develop and prepare the necessary resources before a crisis hits; meaning prevention rather than intervention. For example, they are currently working on integrating and welcoming newcomers through things such as block parties, welcome packs, and a welcoming week. Overall, their goal is to support residents in their social needs, which they have been striving for since their establishment in 1966. Today, you can find their office located in downtown Drumheller.  

National Volunteer Week Celebrations: 2022 and 2023  

Last year, Drumheller FCSS created postcards, which gave volunteers $5 off at a handful of local businesses. Volunteer organizations were able to request postcards as needed, which were either mailed out or hand delivered to volunteers. The postcards also contained further information about volunteer development initiatives. These volunteer development initiatives took place through online webinars, in which topics such as legal responsibilities were discussed. They further set up a display at the Downtown Plaza, which consisted of activities such as writing a note to a volunteer, finishing a line in a poem, and placing a pin on a map where one volunteered. They promoted all these events through social media. 

This year, Drumheller will continue to distribute postcards to their volunteers. The only difference is the discount at local businesses, which has been raised to $6 (you know, inflation and all!). They also plan to do more volunteer development initiatives, as the latest one in October was a huge success. However, the display at the Downtown Plaza will not be happening again this year due to construction.  

Volunteering “weaves us together” at Drumheller FCSS:  

To Drumheller, the sense of “contributing, connecting, and belonging” that comes from volunteering is what weaves them together. Heather adds that volunteerism does great things: it allows people to contribute, to make a difference, to meet other people, and helps supply resources and supports that wouldn’t otherwise be available if they had to pay for them. 

Simone Michalski (She/Her)

Political Science student at the University of Alberta

Simone is an undergraduate student studying Political Science at the University of Alberta. She has been placed with Volunteer Alberta through her CSL (Community Service-Learning) class. She has volunteered with a couple of organizations throughout her high school career, but currently looks forward to expanding her knowledge by working with non-profit communities in Alberta. Upon graduating, she hopes to further her education and attend graduate school for family law. Some of her hobbies include writing, sewing, cooking, and finding different ways to give back to her community.