Volunteer Access, for «The Human Chain of Volunteers of all Origins»

April 2012

The “Human Chain of Volunteers of all Origins” is a unifying event initiated by Volunteer Access in collaboration with 12 community agencies. The first edition took place on December 6, 2010 at Complexe Desjardins on the occasion of International Volunteer Day. It took over three months of preparation and mobilized 81 community agencies. More than 500 people participated: volunteers and aspiring volunteers of all ages and ethnic backgrounds, from ethnocultural organizations, businesses and community agencies.

Volunteer Access and its partners have demonstrated creativity and ingenuity in raising public awareness of the social and human benefits of volunteer involvement. The “Human Chain of Volunteers of all Origins” included many performances by performing artists and testimonials from public figures celebrating the work of those who, year after year, give generously of their time.

The idea for the “Human Chain” was born in May 2010 during a discussion workshop with Montreal’s ethnocultural agencies. This workshop was part of a larger strategic planning exercise, initiated by Volunteer Access with Centraide’s support in 2009, to respond to the transformations and evolution of volunteer structures and practices over the past decades.

The volunteer population is aging. It’s “always the same people” who get involved, and recruiting the next generation of volunteers is difficult. That’s why it is imperative to rekindle the flame and inspire Montrealers to perpetuate the tradition of volunteering. Efforts must be made to stimulate the interest of young people and ensure that the volunteer movement reflects the cultural diversity of the Montreal of today.

The “Human Chain of Volunteers of all Origins” is intended to spark a creative and inspiring response to the changes taking place in the voluntary sector.

Centraide has supported  Volunteer Access since 1972.