About Us

Who we are

Our Vision

The vision of Volunteer Cowichan is that the diverse communities living in the Cowichan Valley will connect and cooperate to create valuable social capital for future generations.

 

Our Mission

Volunteer Cowichan raises awareness of the power of service and encourages people to volunteer. Volunteer Cowichan assists initiatives, projects and organizations to meet community needs and interests.

Our Objectives

  • to provide a means for the encouragement of voluntary citizenship participation in health, welfare, recreation, education, cultural and civic programs.
  • to provide a central unit for recruitments, registration, training and placement of volunteers in such programs.
  • to encourage community services to use volunteers and to maintain high standards in their use of volunteers.
  • to assist in the creation of projects to meet community needs and interests which can utilize volunteers.
  • in conjunction with its volunteer activities the Society will also provide a Community Information Service.
  • to relieve conditions associated with aging by providing housekeeping, shopping assistance, yard maintenance, downsizing assistance and transportation to non-medical appointments to individuals affected by these conditions.
  • to promote public participation with volunteer and community organizations with an aim to foster good citizenship and encourage healthy communities.

Our Definition of volunteering

Volunteering is a fundamental building block of civil society. It brings to life the noblest aspirations of humankind – the pursuit of peace, freedom, opportunity, safety, and justice for all people.

In this era of globalization and continuous change, the world is becoming smaller, more interdependent, and more complex. Volunteering – either through individual or group action – is a way in which:
• Human values of community, caring, and serving can be sustained and strengthened;
• Individuals can exercise their rights and responsibilities as members of communities, while learning and growing throughout their lives, realizing their full human potential;
• And, connections can be made across differences that push us apart so that we can live together in healthy, sustainable communities, working together to provide innovative solutions to our shared challenges and to shape our collective destinies.

Adapted from IAVE, Universal Declaration of Volunteering, 2001,

Value Statement

Volunteer Cowichan understands, supports, and promotes these values

Principle
The board and staff of Volunteer Cowichan value community.

Definition
A community is a body of people with a fellowship of interests.

Values
The board and staff of Volunteer Cowichan are reflective of the diversity of the Cowichan Region, incorporating the Cowichan, Chemainus and Koksilah Valleys. The Cowichan Region is a diverse place. Its richness is created by the smaller communities within, communities that we belong to because of birth, beliefs, or shared values.

Volunteer Cowichan values the sustainability of the Cowichan Valley as a whole, and the communities that lend to its sustainability.

Volunteer Cowichan values the adaptability required to maintain strength of community, for which the application of local knowledge is invaluable.

Volunteer Cowichan values the voice of individuals and groups; we acknowledge this value through our efforts to help encourage and facilitate the fulfilment of the needs and interests expressed by the community.

Volunteer Cowichan values the maintenance of a space that is reliable, safe, supportive, and non-partisan. This space is equally available to individuals, groups, other organizations and other communities to learn, be creative and share. It is a space that acts as a host to those who are inspired or hope to create sustainability within community: ‘ours and others’.

Volunteer Cowichan values volunteerism as a form of civic engagement and community building.

Partners and Supporters

Volunteer Cowichan acknowledges the Financial Assistance of:

  • Government of Canada – Canada Summer Jobs
  • Government of the Province of British Columbia – Gaming Branch
  • The Victoria Foundation
  • Oak Transit
  • Island Ford
  • British Columbia Community Response Network
  • Duncan Dabber Bingo Society
  • 100 Warmland Womyn

Youth 2020 Can

  • Government of Canada – Service Canada Corps program
  • Greater Victoria Volunteer Society
  • Volunteer Nanaimo
  • Volunteer Campbell River
  • Volunteer Powell River
  • Wachiay Friendship Centre

Cowichan Region Better at Home

  • United Way of Lower Mainland
  • Government of the Province of British Columbia
  • United Way of Central Northern Vancouver Island
  • Government of Canada – Emergency community Support Funds
  • Canadian Tire
  • Second Harvest Foundation

Mask the Valley

  • United Way of Central Northern Vancouver Island
  • Government of Canada – Emergency Relief Fund

Aging Well Seniors Expo Sponsors and Vendors- Fall 2019

  • Municipality of North Cowichan
  • Wellness News
  • Ron Smith, Smith Smiles
  • Thrifty Foods
  • Valley Health and Fitness
  • Connect Hearing
  • BCCRN
  • Hibou
  • Tim Hortons
  • Cowichan Community Seniors Foundation
  • Abbeyfield Houses Society of Duncan
  • Better Meals
  • Beautiful Smiles Denture Clinic
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Canadian Red Cross
  • CBI Health Centre
  • Chiani Wellness Centre
  • Comox Valley Lifeline Society
  • Connect Hearing (Duncan South)
  • Cowichan Brain Injury/Self-Management BC
  • Cowichan Community Centre
  • Cowichan Community Policing
  • Cowichan Family Caregivers
  • Cowichan Hospice Society
  • Cowichan Independent Living Centre
  • Cowichan Intercultural Society
  • Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation
  • Cowichan Therapeutic Riding
  • Digits Mobile Medical Footcare
  • Edward Jones Financial
  • Emaza Mobility
  • First Memorial Funeral Services
  • Freedom 55 Financial
  • Fung Loy Kok Taoist Tai Chi
  • Kidney Foundation of Canada
  • Snap Fitness
  • Iris Optometry
  • M’akola Housing Society
  • National Assoc. of Fed Retirees
  • NexGen Hearing
  • Oak Transit
  • Providence Farm
  • Sands Funeral Home
  • Sese Healthy Aging Centre
  • Soul Comfort Sheepskin
  • Time Out Massage Therapy
  • Usana

Coffee Coupon Program- National Volunteer Week 2019

  • A&W Duncan
  • A&W Lake Cowichan
  • Café la Vie
  • Coffee on the Moon
  • Craig Street Brew Pub
  • Duncan Garage Café
  • Jake’s on the Lake
  • Just Jakes Restaurant
  • Nic’s Café
  • Rock Cod Café
  • Serious Coffee Cowichan Commons
  • Serious Coffee Duncan South
  • Serious Coffee Mill Bay
  • Station Street Café
  • Subway Drinkwater
  • Subway TransCanada Highway
  • The Twisted Mug
  • Willow Street Café

Purchasing Policy

Purpose

Volunteer Cowichan chooses to support local small business through its purchasing power. The policy documents Volunteer Cowichan’s commitment to give preference to locally produced goods and services over those produced outside the community.

Policy

Volunteer Cowichan may give preference to procuring goods made in the Cowichan region and services performed by local businesses, even if it entails paying more than the cost of suppliers from outside the community.

Definitions

Local: Cowichan Valley
Goods locally produced: Goods are made, assembled and/or processed locally
Services locally provided: Services are provided by local residents employed by companies locally owned and operated
Preference: Procurement processes will consider degree of economic benefit to the Cowichan Valley. The higher the degree of economic benefit, the stronger the preference.

Procedures

1. Whenever possible Volunteer Cowichan will source locally made goods and services performed by local businesses.
2. When issuing a request for proposal or expression of interest, economic benefit to the Cowichan Valley will be included in the decision making process.
3. In either case a 10% price premium preference will be given to locally procured goods and services.

Privacy Policy

Our Commitment to Privacy
At Volunteer Cowichan we respect your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information. We are committed to keeping the personal information you share with us, whether in person, via email, or on the telephone, confidential. The use of such information will only be for the purpose for which it was collected. This Privacy Policy explains how Volunteer Cowichan collects, uses, discloses and protects the personal information we obtain. References to Volunteer Cowichan are to the charitable society V.C. Volunteer Cowichan and include its affiliate centers if any, depending on the context.

What is Personal Information?
Personal information is any information that identifies you as an individual. This includes such information as your name, address, email address, age, gender, transaction records, and your credit card number.

Standards of Privacy for Your Protection
Our Privacy Policy applies to all participants in Volunteer Cowichan programs. The following is an explanation of our standards for collecting your personal information:

Why We Ask for Your Personal Information
In order to establish you as a volunteer, client or donor, there is some personal information that we request.
Personal information obtained from you will be used by Volunteer Cowichan to register you in any of our programs as a volunteer or participant. The information we ask for depends on the program you select. Your gender, for example is required to identify an appropriate match in the Friendly Visitor Program. Your birth date is required to calculate your age for eligibility in various programs.

Collecting and Using Your Personal Information
We obtain most of our information over the phone and through registration forms. With your consent, we may obtain personal information about you from third parties. This may include parents, guardian, or whoever is registering you in a program.

Upon collection of your personal information, we will explain how we intend to use it. We will only collect the information that we need for your particular program, and we will use it only for the purposes that are outlined. We will obtain your consent if we wish to use your personal information for any other purpose or before collecting personal information from, or providing personal information to, parties not affiliated with Volunteer Cowichan.

Please note that we will not share health information that may have been provided in connection with a program such as handyDART. With your consent, we may use certain information to provide you with information about Volunteer Cowichan. This consent is optional and you can decide to withdraw it at any time.

Under no circumstances do we sell participant or personal information to others. We release your personal information to parties outside of Volunteer Cowichan only under the following circumstances:

(a) When you give consent – we will disclose your personal information when you have given consent.

(b) When required or permitted by law – in certain circumstances, the law may require or permit Volunteer Cowichan to disclose your personal information without your knowledge or specific consent. For example, such information may be disclosed if required to comply with a subpoena, warrant, court order or if requested by a government institution, which has the lawful authority to obtain the information.

In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary that we disclose your personally identifiable information if we believe, in good faith, that disclosure is otherwise necessary or advisable to protect Volunteer Cowichan’s interests. We will seek to ensure that any proposed disclosure is required in the circumstances and then ensure that we disclose only the information that is required.

Accuracy of and Access to Your Personal Information
We will make every reasonable effort to keep your personal information accurate and up-to-date. Having accurate information about you enables us to provide you with the best possible service. You can help by keeping us informed of any changes such as if you move or change telephone numbers. If you find any errors in our information about you, let us know and we will make the corrections as soon as reasonably possible and make sure they are conveyed to anyone we may have misinformed. For information that remains in dispute, we will note your opinion in the file. You are able to access, adjust, or withdraw your information at any time.

Protection of Your Personal Information
We will protect the personal information we obtain about you with appropriate safeguards and security measures. We will retain your personal information only for the time it is required for the purposes we explain or as otherwise required by law.

Accountability and Openness to Your Privacy Concern
If, at any time, you wish to review, adjust, or withdraw your personal information, we will record and respect your choices.

Privacy on the Internet
We recognize that you may have special privacy concerns regarding our communications with you over the Internet. Your email address will be used strictly for the purposes of Volunteer Cowichan as outlined above. We may email you documents relevant to your registration, including invoices, receipts, or program confirmation. Any sensitive or confidential material will be removed from the document prior to sending them over the Internet. With your consent, we may use your email address to provide you with information about Volunteer Cowichan and programming. In particular, we will want to ensure that your personal information is secure and that you are aware of and can control our use of your personal information in the Internet environment.

Remember that email over the Internet is generally unencrypted. We recommend that you do not send us sensitive or confidential information by ordinary email, as unencrypted email is generally not secure. We are equally concerned about your privacy on the Internet and this Privacy Policy applies in its entirety to anything you might do while visiting our web site, including messages sent to the email addresses provided.

How We Protect Your Information
Volunteer Cowichan stores and processes your personal information in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.

We will protect your personal information with appropriate safeguards and security measures. We have security standards to protect our systems and your personal information against unauthorized access and use. When we provide information in response to a legal inquiry or order, we ensure that the order is valid and we disclose only the information that is legally required.

All employees of Volunteer Cowichan are familiar with the procedures that must be taken to safeguard client information, and to us, protecting the confidentiality of your personal information is part of our job. We audit our procedures and security measures regularly to ensure that they are being properly administered and that they remain effective and appropriate.

We retain your personal information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected or as required by law. The length of time we retain information varies depending on the program and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of your participation with us but only for so long as it is legally necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issue that may arise at a later date. When your personal information is no longer needed or required, we have procedures to destroy, delete, erase, or convert it to an anonymous form.

Your Right to Access Your Information
We will give you access to the information we have about you. Most of this information is in the form of your transaction records which can be obtained by contacting the Privacy Officer in writing at Volunteer Cowichan, 1 Kenneth Place, Duncan BC, V9L 5G3. If you require other information, simply contact our office. We will ask you for specific details such as the name of program, date of registration and the date payment was processed if any according to your records. We will advise you in advance if a charge will be required for conducting the search, and we will respond to your request promptly, but in any case, within 30 days.

Please note that we may not be able to provide information about you from our records if it contains references to other persons, is subject to legal privilege, contains information proprietary to Volunteer Cowichan, or cannot be disclosed for other legal reasons. If you have any questions regarding decisions made, we will tell you the reasons for those decisions. Also, we do not ordinarily maintain disclosure records for regular or routine actions, updating of credit information, if required, or account deficiencies.

Your Concerns Are Important to Us
Your comments and concerns are important to Volunteer Cowichan. If you have any concerns or questions about privacy and confidentiality, or any concerns about the way a request for information was handled, you can take the following actions:

Contact the Privacy Officer. In most cases she/he will be able to resolve the matter but will, in any case, ensure that your concerns are addressed so that further action, if necessary, is taken to resolve the matter.

If your concern remains unresolved, you can contact the President of Volunteer Cowichan directly in writing to:

1 Kenneth Place
Duncan BC
V9L 5G3
Phone:  250 748-2133

Board of Directors

Find our board of directors here!

Testimonials

What Folks are Saying