by Stephen Dafoe
A local volunteer is putting together a team of superheroes to assist when the need arises, individuals with unique skills and abilities that are brought to bear when a little helping hand is required.
David LeBel was cited by the province in 2014 for his efforts assisting with flood relief in High River and is no stranger to offering that helping hand where needed, having volunteered locally with several initiatives, including Rock the Rails and the St. Jean Baptiste Festival.
It is the ongoing need for volunteers that prompted LeBel to start Morinville Volunteers, a group he hopes will be able to offer assistance to local groups in need.
“I have been volunteering in the Town of Morinville for a few years now, and I have noticed a common denominator between nearly every volunteer event. A lack of volunteers,” LeBel said.
The Morinville Volunteer founder said there were several groups within the community organizing events. The problem is most of the events require more volunteers to operate than individual committees or boards have in their membership.
“In the past, these groups have supported one another by volunteering at each other’s events,” LeBel explained. “Even with the support, extra hands are required and volunteer associations will often have to resort to asking friends and family members to help run the event.”
It is that ongoing need that prompted the Morinville resident to kick off a pilot project to test the potential of developing a group to serve solely as infrastructure support to the community.
“If I see traction and success coming from the project, then we will look at becoming an official society and licencing some of our volunteers to become a more valuable resource,” LeBel said.
The idea is simple, LeBel explains. Individuals can add themselves to a list of volunteers. Volunteer groups within the community can contact Morinville Volunteers to request assistance for their event.
“At that point, I would inquire how many people they need and what tasks need to be fulfilled,” LeBel said. “I would then go through the list of volunteers and call to see who can help.”
LeBel sees the initiative as a great way for Morinville and area residents who cannot meet the time commitment of weekly meetings and planning session also to be able to get out and help build community through their volunteerism.
“Volunteers are the people make things happen,” LeBel said. “Without volunteers, you cannot make your community be what you want it to be.”
For more information about the initiative or to be added to the list of volunteers, e-mail MorinvilleVolunteers@shaw.ca.