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Praise for our star volunteers

Giving back: residents who give up their time for others were recognised at a reception at the Centre on Philanthropy

Bermuda’s good Samaritans have been celebrated by the Centre on Philanthropy at their annual Volunteer Recognition Reception.

“Every year, thousands of Bermuda residents give their time, talent and passion to making our community a better place,” said Lynne Matcham, spokeswoman for the Centre.

“They give their time selflessly to others and they contribute to the betterment of our community, while remaining virtually unknown to the general public.”

The reception — the ninth time the event has been held — was part of Bermuda’s 2014 Volunteer Day celebrations on December 9.

It aims to promote and celebrate the spirit of volunteerism by providing non-profit members the opportunity to honour and recognise their star volunteers for their dedication, Ms Matcham said.

More than 200 guests attended the reception, including Governor George Fergusson and Wayne Scott, Minister of Community, Culture and Sport.

Nominations from 68 non-profit organisations in honour of 103 volunteers, including 36 youth volunteers, were recognised.

“What an inspiration to see so many young people involved in our community and recognised for their volunteer contributions,” Ms Matcham said. “These volunteers share their knowledge and skills to help our non-profits deliver critical services and support sustainable economic and community development.”

She said many were also taking part in new initiatives, such as skills-based volunteering and e-volunteering.

“They bring with them tremendous experiences, new contacts and fresh perspectives from their social and professional lives that, in turn, have a positive and lasting impact on our community,” Ms Matcham said.

“They support a range of causes including health and human services, youth and education, arts and culture, sports and recreation, animals and the environment.

“We are grateful for their commitment and we celebrate them.”

A large part of the Centre’s mission is to promote and support volunteerism.

Ms Matcham said this was accomplished “by inspiring and mobilising individuals to seek active citizenship through engagement in meaningful service projects and facilitating volunteer projects in partnership with individuals, non-profits and companies”.

“Through volunteerism, we wish to foster understanding and facilitate purposeful exchanges between citizens from all walks of life, in order to cultivate a stronger community composed of caring and committed citizens,” she added.

International Volunteer Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 17, 1985, “to show volunteers respect and recognition, and to shine a light on the impact of volunteers everywhere”.

To find and connect with opportunities in Bermuda, visit www.volunteer.bm