Each year, the Volunteers Are Stars Awards happen in April, during National Volunteer Week. Except last year, when they didn't.
Everything was planned, everything was ready, and then everything stopped. COVID-19 forced us to postpone the event, for what we thought would be a month or two. Time stretched on, and reality set in: the 2020 Volunteers Are Stars Awards had to be cancelled.
A year later, things are improving - there's real, discernible light at the end of the tunnel - but we're still in the middle of a global pandemic. That means, once again, the Volunteers Are Stars Awards can't happen. At least, not in person.
We can, however, celebrate Richmond's volunteers virtually. And so, with your help, that's what we're going to do.
Above, we said that, with the arrival of COVID-19, everything stopped. That's not quite true. Volunteers never stopped. They kept serving their community, sometimes in new or modified virtual roles, but often times in person, on the front lines, supporting Richmond's most vulnerable residents face-to-face.
For their contributions during this unprecedented period, they deserve individual recognition, and our collective gratitude. That's where the Volunteers Are Stars Awards come in.
You can submit as many nominations as you'd like, whether personally, or on behalf of a local non-profit organization or community group. There are four categories, honouring individual volunteers, volunteer groups, youth volunteers, and non-profit leaders.
Three finalists will be chosen in each category, and they, along with their family, friends, and nominators, will be invited to participate in a virtual ceremony, happening the evening of Thursday, April 22.
During the event, the finalists will be recognized for their impact on the Richmond community, and the winners - one in each category - will be announced with short videos, filmed safely and professionally prior to the awards ceremony. The videos will later appear on RCRG's YouTube channel.
Every nominee, meanwhile, will have a brief bio posted on this very website. We'll also highlight the nominees on our social media channels, and profile the nominating organizations, talking about their work in the community and the volunteer opportunities they have available.
Nominating a volunteer is, above all, an excellent way to say thanks. Even if they don't win, they'll be mailed a certificate of recognition and be honoured publicly online. Plus, your organization will be featured in a variety of promotional materials, which will help you recruit new volunteers, and bring greater awareness to your programs and services.
The Volunteers Are Stars Awards may look different this year, but they're happening, and remain as meaningful as ever. Help celebrate volunteers in our community by submitting a nomination by Friday, March 12.
Our sincere thanks to The Dupuis Langen Group for serving as Presenting Sponsor of the 2021 Volunteers Are Stars Awards. The company has a long history of supporting and celebrating local volunteerism, and we're grateful for their generosity and leadership in helping us recognize the many brilliant volunteers who contributed to our community this past year.
A little time may have passed, but their contributions remain as meaningful as ever. Read about the many brilliant winners and nominees from previous editions of Volunteers Are Stars.