Engaging a Community That Volunteers
The Kamloops Community Volunteer Services Society, operating as Volunteer Kamloops, is committed to the concept that volunteerism improves the quality of life in the community and, therefore, supports and strengthens volunteerism through promotion, recruitment, education, orientation, and referral services for volunteers and organizations in our community and surrounding areas.
Since 1985, Volunteer Kamloops has recruited and referred volunteers to our members who could be a non-profit organization or anyone taking on a volunteer project in the community. We are a Registered Charity (132712670RR0001) and a BC Society with our own voluntary Board of Directors.
A key annual event is National Volunteer Week during the third week of April. Through training and networking opportunities, we support the efforts of organizations to provide high-quality volunteer programs and opportunities. Our staff members participate on community committees and collaborations to achieve shared needs or address issues that affect voluntary agencies. We advocate on behalf of volunteers and the value of voluntary service in all aspects of our work.
We currently provide three main programs
To link or integrate mental health consumers with community organizations in a way that promotes their involvement and enhances community awareness about various mental health issues.
We would like to thank Interior Health for their support in our twelfth year of providing this program.
The FOCUS Program assists adults 19 and over who are challenged by mental health concerns to find suitable volunteer placements. Conditions may include depression, anxieties, or any other mental health condition.
In addition, the Therapeutic Volunteer Program is a specialized program for those diagnosed with a mental illness and meeting the admission guidelines of the program. It is a long-term program and has limited intake numbers each year.
Anyone is welcome to make an appointment, either directly or through a professional referral, to find out how the program works and what opportunities are available. Our contact information is in the “About us” tab.
The FOCUS Coordinator has extensive contacts with organizations in the community which offer opportunities for personal growth and development through volunteering. Skills development might include team-building, clerical, computer, communication, and interpersonal relationships. Each volunteer creates an action plan that can include career planning, which involves seeking volunteer opportunities that could build skills and lead into future employment in the community.
Through the Link Program potential volunteers are able to learn about the various volunteer opportunities across our community. The Link Program Coordinator works with these potential volunteers to help them meet any personal goals by screening them and referring them to the volunteer opportunities and organisations that would help them meet their goals.
How to Volunteer
- Check out current Volunteer Opportunities and learn more about our member organisations.
- Complete a Volunteer Application Form (doc); Volunteer Application Form (pdf); Volunteer Application Form (Web)
- Call 250-372-8313 to set up an appointment
- If you are planning to volunteer at Volunteer Kamloops or become a Snow Angel, you can start the Criminal Record Check process.
- At the appointment the Link Program Coordinator will look at your interests, skills, career goals, etc. and will match you to volunteer opportunities from our member agencies that will help you accomplish those goals.
- Please note that we are a referral service and we will provide you with all the information to make contact with the member organisation.
- A month after you were referred to volunteer opportunities, we will do a follow up to see where you started volunteering, however, if at any time you need the assistance of the program coordinator please call our office or email email@example.com.
It’s that easy! We also have some organizations’ volunteer application forms and program information on hand for you to get more information about their volunteer position(s).
We acknowledge the support of the Province of British Columbia in funding aspects of this program.
Snow Angels Program
Snow Angels Program
The Snow Angels Program gears up every November to help seniors and individuals with mobility challenges by removing snow from their driveways and sidewalks. Each year, Snow Angels volunteers assist over 100 seniors and individuals with mobility challenges in Kamloops with snow removal services.
- Shovel snow from the driveway and sidewalk within a 24-hour window
- You must be physically fit to complete the job and be reliable
- Must be ready/prepared to shovel snow when needed
- Family volunteering welcome (children ages 14 and under must have supervision)
- Volunteers will be matched with seniors in their area
- Police Information Check Required (PIC)
How to get started:
- Please fill out the online application and write “Snow Angels” under the section – “Are you looking for a specific volunteer opportunity” and if you can shovel more than one place in that area, please let us know how many you would like to assist with.
- Contact the Snow Angels Program Coordinator to learn more about the program
- Complete a Police Information Check (PIC) forms, and drop them off at the RCMP or complete the check using an online link provided by the Snow Angels Program Coordinator
- Once the PIC is received back from the RCMP you will get matched to seniors or individuals with mobility challenges in your neighbourhood.
We promote volunteer opportunities through:
- Community volunteer/job fairs
- Media articles and interviews
- Our website Current Volunteer Opportunities
- Weekly advertising through our Weekly Volunteer Highlights
- By direct contact and referral of the hundreds of individuals who call or drop in to our office through the year
- Listings of new requests distributed around the community through email, fax, television, radio, and various publications
Basic Volunteer Center roles as outlined by Volunteer BC:
- Connecting people with opportunities to serve
- Promoting and recognizing volunteerism
- Building capacity for effective local volunteering
- Providing leadership on issues relating to volunteerism
Get to know our wonderful Staff, Board Members, and Volunteers!
Board of Directors
Kamloops Community Volunteer Services welcomes new volunteer board members with strong connections in the community. For more information please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tara Lyster, President
Tara Lyster is a Lecture, School of Nursing Thompson Rivers University. She joined the board in 2016. With over 20 years of nursing experience Tara understand the importance of volunteering to enhance the health and well-being of a community. Tara has a passion for youth and engaging youth in volunteer opportunities. Over the years Tara has had the opportunity to be involved with volunteering with children and youth. Tara is the proud mom of a daughter and a son.
Devin Gambler, Vice President
Devin Gambler is a community developer who works with many partners in the City of Kamloops to develop healthy, sustainable leadership. Devin believes in servant leadership & being a go-giver, he is purpose-driven to promote organizational & personal potential. Devin has over 20 years of non-profit experience, he is a successful entrepreneur, keynote speaker & facilitator, his work in e-learning in BC Post-Secondary has garnered him award-winning recognition.
Tricia Turner, Treasurer
Tricia Turner is a Chartered Professional Accountant employed with BCLC. Tricia joined the Volunteer Kamloops board in April 2018 as the Treasurer for VK. Tricia is also an active volunteer in the Kamloops community with previous volunteer experience with seniors, her kid’s speed skating club, as a youth soccer coach, with the Kamloops Food Bank, United Way Days of Caring, TRU mentorship program, the Kamloops Brier and the World Women’s Hockey Championships to name a few. Kamloops has been her home for over twenty years and she is a proud graduate of Thompson Rivers University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids and extended family, as well as being active outdoors and spending time with seniors.
Justin Bourke, Secretary
Justin Bourke is an Employment Placement Specialist for the Kamloops YMCA/ WorkBC. Volunteering has been something ingrained in his personality since being adopted at age 9. Justin learned about volunteering from his grandpa, who use to take him to volunteer at his church. In high school, Justin was a tour guide for Japanese students in Revelstoke and participated in mentoring for Community Connections. Since moving to Kamloops Justin has run a Halloween food drive, was a chair for pets for vets, and is currently a big brother for big brothers big sisters. The community has always given Justin so much, so Justin gives back through volunteering.
Steve Baker, Director
Steven Baker is a retired teacher, Principal (Elementary, Secondary K-12) and current TRU instructor, School of Education, Bachelor of Education Program. He has been a director with Volunteer Kamloops for 12 years. Steve has served on numerous boards and committees both locally and provincially focusing on youth and seniors. Steve is a BCAS: paramedic, preceptor, trainer, and Safety Officer. Steve enjoys golf, curling, slow pitch, origami, calligraphy, renovating and building houses.
Jacob Brown, Director
Jacob Brown is a lawyer at Morelli Chertkow LLP. He obtained his law degree from Dalhousie University in 2016 before moving to Kamloops to build his practice. He joined the Board of Directors at Volunteer Kamloops in the spring of 2018. In addition to being a Director of Volunteer Kamloops, Jacob coaches minor lacrosse in Kamloops and has additional volunteer experience at the Dalhousie Legal Aid Clinic, the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council, the Whitehorse Salvation Army Shelter, the Kelowna Gospel Mission, and the Surrey Urban Mission. In his free time, Jacob enjoys hiking, skiing and camping with his wife and dog, and playing lacrosse for the Kamloops Senior Rattlers.
Focus Program Coordinator – Edith Farrell
Edith is well known to many in Kamloops as an ardent proponent of the value and benefits of volunteering. Her work experience as an employment counsellor and case manager in both Barriere and Kamloops involved facilitation of information sessions, career planning and personal development workshops as well as job search assistance. She undertook extensive professional development throughout that period and demonstrated skills in working with people of diverse backgrounds and personal circumstances.
At the same time, she undertook long-term volunteer roles with the Provincial Emergency Program as a counsellor; with the Red Cross Child Abuse Prevention Program, and as a board member with Community Futures in Kamloops and the University College of the Cariboo (now TRU) Advisory group in Barriere. After moving to Kamloops she continued to volunteer for many groups and causes, with one such role being with Volunteer Kamloops.
She speaks from personal experience about the usefulness of volunteering and showing dedication and commitment in that role as a stepping-stone to employment. It was due to exactly those characteristics as a volunteer with Volunteer Kamloops, as well as her knowledge and human relations skills, that she was successful in applying for the role of Coordinator of the Focus program in 2003.
The Focus program continues to serve many clients each year with mental health challenges. The more intensive Therapeutic Volunteer Program has also been successful in assisting clients to move toward their personal goals, and in several cases leading to employment.
Through her 15 years with this organization, she has been recognized as a key component of Volunteer Kamloops in the community.
Focus Program Coordinator – Amber Briglio
Amber is another member of the Focus Program team. Her background comes from her degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria. Before working at Volunteer Kamloops she worked in Child Protection.
Amber has a history with Kamloops because she was born and raised here.
In addition to her employment history, Amber has a passion for photography and loves spending her extra time camping with her family.
Link Program Coordinator and Snow Angels Program Coordinator – Taylor Rae
Taylor is a Kamloops local and has lived most of her life in our community. She joined the Volunteer Kamloops team after completing her degree at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) with a major in Communication and Public Relations.
Throughout her educational career, she has study abroad twice. Once in Turkey and the other in Thailand. Her years living abroad and her time at university allowed her to gain certification in Global Competency in tandem with her degree which formally recognizes her global competencies. Meaning she has the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of a globally minded citizen.
Taylor has also had various volunteer experiences in Kamloops with the SPCA, Arnica Artist-Run Centre, School District 73, and Literacy in Kamloops which has given her the insight and knowledge to help those seeking volunteer experiences in Kamloops.
Taylor’s volunteer experience is what lead to her employment with Volunteer Kamloops and has helped her further her career.