Around Alberta: Blackfalds

National Volunteer Week is a chance for organizations across the country to celebrate and recognize their volunteers. Volunteer Alberta works alongside the Government of Alberta to provide funding to help celebrate these communities. The way in which communities choose to celebrate varies, so today we are going to take a closer look at Blackfalds. We would like to introduce Cara from Blackfalds FCSS, who answered some questions about Blackfalds, National Volunteer Week and more!

Get To Know Cara:

Prior to joining Blackfalds FCSS as the Volunteer Programmer, Cara has been a lifelong volunteer in the Blackfalds community. She describes her role now as “an amazing full circle experience.” Cara has exceptional relationship management skills and excels in staying connected with the Blackfalds volunteer community.

A Background of Blackfalds FCSS:

The FCSS was established in Blackfalds 30 years ago in the 1990s. Today, you can find the FCSS team on the lower level of the Civic Cultural Centre at 5018 Waghorn Street. Blackfalds FCSS was established to support enhancing social well-being in the community through the provincial FCSS mandate.

Blackfalds FCSS believes volunteerism is an important aspect of the communities well-being and works to promote volunteer opportunities by giving nonprofits in their community a platform for volunteer recruitment. Overall, this service helps to appropriately match volunteer opportunities with interested volunteer’s based on their skills, knowledge, and abilities.

National Volunteer Week Celebrations: 2022 and 2023

In 2022, in light of the pandemic, Blackfalds FCSS held an exclusive, invite only, event to celebrate their Volunteer Recognition Award recipients. Attendees included the recipients and their families, an MEGlobal representative, and Town Council representatives. A videographer recorded the event, and created a wonderful mini-documentary, which you can find on their Facebook page (we recommend checking it out!). A Community Volunteer Movie Night was also held during National Volunteer Week and again during National Youth Week.

This year, held “The Best of Blackfalds: Volunteer Edition” on April 19, 2023. the event included door prizes from their local businesses, appetizers from some of their best restaurants, a bar, live music from local artists, and an awards ceremony that highlighted community ambassadors and their achievements. Additionally, they are eager to hold a Youth Recognition Night. On May 3, 2023, an Oscar-themed event was also held, including door prizes from local businesses, appetizers, performances from youth singers and dancers, and an awards presentation.

Volunteering “weaves us together” at Blackfalds FCSS:

To Blackfalds, this means that “whether our volunteers are involved in Town of Blackfalds special events, community programs, community organizations and groups, or as part of our Town boards, committees, [and] commissions; together they are the fabric that weaves the backbone of our community.” Blackfalds deeply appreciates those who strive to make a difference and “pour their heart and soul into our community.”

Cara Kroetsch, Alison Besecker & Melody Santiago at Youth Event Photo taken by Town of Blackfalds

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