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OVCN VC Spotlight Volunteer Chatham-Kent / United Way of Chatham-Kent
OVCN VC Spotlight Volunteer Chatham-Kent / United Way of Chatham-Kent
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OVCN VC Spotlight Volunteer Chatham-Kent / United Way of Chatham-Kent


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  • 1. OVCN’s Volunteer Centre Spotlight Written by Kevin Sutton, Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator Winter 2014 Dedicated to: This VC Spotlight is dedicated to Patricia Weiler for her incredible leadership, guidance and support of the Volunteer Centre of Chatham-Kent, and the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network. Our thoughts are with her in her journey to optimal health. On The Ball Volunteer Centre Leadership and the Miracles of Multi-tasking Supporting Ontario communities is a complex endeavor. Often, what is required is a wide variety of approaches, each coordinated with the other to create an overlap of coverage, resources and management that best serves needs within the limits of time, capacity, and budgetary constraints. This kind of administration takes a mental skill set equivalent to that of a circus juggler - keeping track of multiple flying objects of mismatched sizes and scopes, some more delicate than others yet all interrelated and requiring the full focus of talent and expertise. However, the consequences of dropping balls when running the kinds of programs that support a community would likely make even the most seasoned juggler blanche! Yet, this is often the three-ring-circus act that many Volunteer Centre administrators-cum-acrobats have to negotiate behind the scenes while competently providing leadership to community services programs. Just ask Patricia Weiler, Manager of Volunteer/Information Chatham-Kent at United Way of Chatham-Kent. Perhaps the mental skill set of air-traffic controller would be more apt, with all the projects, programs and agencies Weiler is responsible for keeping aloft. But that’s all a part of growing and maintaining a robust and healthy community as a local Volunteer Centre - the hub in Ontario’s communities where the needs of the non- profit sector converge and get met. Not only does Weiler handle all the volunteer issues - recruitment, retention, and recognition - both internally at Volunteer Chatham-Kent and externally for its member organizations, but she also provides training in volunteer leadership, volunteer screening, privacy, AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act), diversity training, and the new volunteer recognition program, PREB. However, that’s only the beginning “Two years ago I established a co-op high school position in a local high school,” says Weiler. “Where the co-op student ran a volunteer centre in the school to connect students to opportunities for their 40 in 4. Now, there are two more high schools that want the same thing with the possibility of more.”
  • 2. OVCN’s Volunteer Centre Spotlight Written by Kevin Sutton, Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator Winter 2014 Currently, Weiler is working with Chatham-Kent’s Senior’s Advisory Committee as they organize community forums for the purposes of promoting age-friendly opportunities. She will also act as the liaison for volunteerism on the municipality’s new Senior’s portal. Weiler also hopes to bring a Senior’s Ambassador Program to Chatham-Kent similar to the one stewarded by fellow OVCN member Volunteer Halton. And Weiler does not stop there by helping to coordinate with “the Adult Language and Learning Centre to present a workshop on brain mapping, diversity and understanding ourselves with Dr Leeno Karumanchary.” All of this and she still finds the time to do the work we at the OVCN are most grateful for: volunteering as a guiding force on our Steering Committee, bringing all of her experience, resources and extraordinary multi- tasking ability to bear inspiring and strengthening volunteerism and Volunteer Centres all across the province. It’s people like Patricia Weiler who make our Volunteer Centres tick, dedicated staff pulling more than their weight to ensure communities get the service they need to grow and sustain their health and well-being. -30- For more information about the remarkable accomplishments and programs of Volunteer/Information Chatham-Kent at United Way of Chatham-Kent please visit their website at Stepping Forward: Volunteer Centre Spotlight Series The Ontario Volunteer Centre Network presents the ‘Stepping Forward Program – a community service initiative and spotlight series’ that celebrates the unsung contribution that Volunteer Centres make towards a vibrant and prosperous Ontario. Now is the time to take volunteerism to the next level by recognizing and enabling Ontario's Volunteer Centres as they continue to step forward in service to our communities. Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (519) 731-5550 For more information about Stepping Forward visit