Three people standing in a garden, with the person in the centre holding an award
Did you know?
More than 100 young leaders have graduated from the Youth Now program.
Each year, over 100 non-profit professionals attend our training opportunities.
Over two dozen non-profit organizations have participated in the Youth Now program.
The CCRR provides nearly 400 child care referrals per year.
On average, the CCRR hosts 30 workshops and training courses each year.
Every year, over 500 child care providers and parents attend CCRR training opportunities.
Every year, RCRG completes over 3,000 grocery orders for local seniors.
Nearly 300 seniors make use of our Better at Home services.
Our volunteer drivers complete more than 1,200 trips annually.
At least 350 people per year find a volunteer position using our Volunteer Match program.
Close to 500 volunteers support RCRG’s programs and services.
Volunteers contribute nearly 23,000 hours to our organization each year.
Each holiday season, the Richmond Christmas Fund helps more than 2,200 low-income residents.
Every year, the Christmas Fund provides over 600 children with toys, books, and sports equipment.
The Richmond Christmas Fund was first started by Ethel Tibbits, in the 1930s.
The number of Neighbourhood Small Grants we’ve awarded has increased every year since 2014.
Block parties are the most popular type of Neighbourhood Small Grant project.
Every year, the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre serves over 7,300 local women.
The Richmond Women’s Resource Centre currently offers 16 programs and services.
Nearly 60 volunteers support the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, contributing nearly 2,500 hours per year.
Richmond is home to over 350 registered charities, all of which rely on volunteer support.
There are nearly 13 million volunteers across Canada.
International Volunteer Day is celebrated throughout the world on December 5.
There are 35 volunteer centres in British Columbia.
In 2016, the Foundation awarded 10 grants to non-profit organizations, worth a combined $59,000.
The Foundation manages $6 million in 60 Forever Funds, returning, on average, CPI plus 4%.
Between 2020 and 2022, the Foundation distributed $656,000 in grants, scholarships, charitable disbursements, and Emergency Community Support Funds.
Foundation activities result in the enhancement of our community and residents’ sense of belonging.
ROCA has raised over $21,000 for local charities.
ROCA has performed its Elementary School Concert Series to over 8,000 students.
ROCA provides mentoring and life changing opportunities for aspiring musicians.
The Richmond Arts Coalition was founded in November of 2005.
RAC co-produces the ArtRich exhibition every two years!
RAC highlights Richmond's arts events in a monthly email.
The Richmond Music School is the oldest not-for-profit music school in Richmond.
The Richmond Music School offers affordable music lessons through its diverse programming.
Our students performed 40 hours of music to welcome the Olympic athletes to the 2010 Olympic Games.
Volunteers Are Stars

2022 Volunteers Are Stars Awards

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

What are volunteers if not a gift? They make our community stronger, safer, and healthier. They make it more inclusive for seniors and people with disabilities. They support education and healthcare, sports and food security. They're an integral part of our multicultural arts scene, and the beating heart of countless community programs.

All that, and they keep on giving. Not even the pandemic has slowed them down. Over the past two years, whether virtually or in-person, volunteers have continued to enhance the lives of Richmond residents. They've graciously and enthusiastically shared their time, skills, and talents, working tirelessly to help our community stay connected, and overcome one challenge after another.

Now, it's time again to recognize their contributions. RCRG is proud to present the 2022 Volunteers Are Stars Awards, taking place virtually on April 27, during National Volunteer Week.

Meet the Nominees

It's a pleasure and an honour to introduce the 18 individuals and groups who have been nominated for a 2022 Volunteers Are Stars Award. Each nominee has made a meaningful difference in our community. Collectively, they've contributed thousands of hours to dozens of causes, enhancing the lives everyday Richmond residents. Their volunteer work has impacted children and youth, seniors and families, and those experiencing poverty and homelessness. In short, every one of them is a star, and their light makes our community shine so much brighter.

The winners - one in each category - will be announced April 27, during a virtual awards ceremony. Shortly thereafter, videos of each winner will be posted here, along with a recording of the event itself. 

For now, please join us in celebrating the nominees, who so brilliantly represent Richmond's volunteer spirit.

Nova Star (Outstanding Individual Volunteer)

Dominic Baril

Brandon Kato

Jerry Kwan

Dawn Thomson

Truman Wong

Martin Younis

Constellation (Outstanding Volunteer Group)

Chimo Community Services - Outreach & Advocacy Volunteers

Richmond Public Library's Teen Ambassadors

South Arm United Church Outreach Committee

Walk Richmond Volunteers

Shooting Star (Outstanding Youth Volunteer)

Calvin Chang

Ella Fast

Johnny Hu

Li Qing Wang

Micah Wu

Nicole Yue

Star of Richmond (Excellence in Non-Profit Leadership)

Tammi Belfer

Eve Minuk

And the Winners Are...

The four recipients of this year's Volunteers Are Stars Awards have each found meaning and value in community service. In many cases, they're involved in causes with which they have a personal connection, channeling their passion in a way that benefits others. You'll notice that they frequently reference how much they enjoy working with people, which, in the end, is what volunteering is all about. You meet fellow community members, you make new friends, and together, you make a difference.

Our 2022 recipients highlight the diversity of Richmond's volunteer spirit, even as they share a common sense of purpose. In their own way, they want to make their community better, and we hope, by recognizing their efforts, we've shown that they have.

To the winners, to the nominees, and to everyone who gives their time in support of our community: thank you for the contributions you make, the inspiration you give, and the example you set.

Star of Richmond Award Winner
(Excellence in Non-Profit Leadership)

Tammi Belfer

Richmond Women's Resource Centre

Tammi Belfer has been volunteering for nearly five decades, often in leadership roles. 

From 1974 to 2000, she served as a Board Member with the Organization Through Rehabilitation and Training. Rooted in Jewish values, the organization enhances the economic prospects of individuals and communities by providing them with employment and entrepreneurial skills. 

Through much of the 1980s, Tammi was a Board Member with the Richmond Aquanaut Swim Club, which later merged with the Richmond Racers to become the Richmond Rapids Swim Club. During her time there, she served as Treasurer, supported membership development, and regularly volunteered at swim meets. 

She also served eight years on the Board of Richmond Cares, Richmond Gives, back when the organization was known as Volunteer Richmond Information Services. Here, too, she volunteered as Treasurer. She remains involved with the organization’s Richmond Christmas Fund program, volunteering each holiday season to assist families in need. 

Since 2015, Tammi's served as Board President of the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, where she’s had a transformational impact.  

She’s played a key role in developing the organization’s Board, recruiting a diverse group of new members – including many young people – who are passionate about helping women build connections and thrive in their community. 

Tammi also volunteers as Project Manager for the organization’s annual International Women’s Day event, which is both a community gathering and a major fundraiser, complete with an auction and raffle. 

Recently, she helped lead the Resource Centre in drafting a five-year strategic plan, and, in 2019, was a key voice in the organization’s rebranding effort, which resulted in a new logo created in consultation with the community. 

During COVID, Tammi worked diligently with the organization’s Executive Director to bring all of its programs and services online, so they would remain accessible throughout the pandemic. 

Speaking of programs, it’s another area where Tammi has had a substantial impact. She helped create many of the Resource Centre’s most popular initiatives, from Hot Ink, a creative writing program for teenage girls, to Work Ready, which supports women in developing employment and job-search skills. 

She’s also a current Board Member of the Jewish Senior Alliance and Beth Tikvah Synagogue, where she actively participates on committees, and generously shares her knowledge and experience, so both organizations can better serve their constituents. 

Through her decades of service, Tammi has left an indelible mark on the Richmond community, and improved thousands of lives.  

She’s still giving her time, and still making a difference, even as she mentors young volunteers on their way to becoming community leaders. She’s one of the giants on whose shoulders they’ll stand.

Shooting Star Award Winner
(Outstanding Youth Volunteer)

Li Qing Wang

Richmond Women's Resource Centre

Li Qing Wang has found time to build an impressive volunteer resume. Her community service is especially noteworthy because finding time isn’t easy: she’s also enrolled in medical school. 

In 2020, as part of the Leadership Richmond – Youth Now program, she joined the Board of the Richmond Women’s Resource Centre, where she continues to volunteer today.  

Initially, Li Qing took time to observe and learn the fundamentals of non-profit governance. In short order, however, she was making significant contributions, from serving on the Governance committee, to co-leading the revision of the organization's constitution and by-laws.  

She also developed and launched a new program, which, by providing resources and mentorship opportunities, empowers female-identifying youth to pursue professional careers. 

Li Qing's medical background has created another avenue of community service. During the pandemic, for example, she helped facilitate contact tracing in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, with a focus on physicians who had been exposed to COVID-19. 

She also mentors students from disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, supporting them along their journey as they apply to medical school. 

Over the years, Li Qing's volunteered with the Richmond Centre for Disability, Richmond Lions Manor, and Canadian Cancer Society, and back in high school, at A.R. MacNeill Secondary, she served as President of the First Responders Club. 

During her time in Youth Now, she worked with other young leaders to create a video, meant to highlight the Richmond community’s resilience throughout the pandemic.  

The video features interviews with volunteers and non-profit leaders, and acts as a living historical document, emphasizing how strong and connected our community truly is. Li Qing has played a big part in that, not wasting a single minute as she pushes for – and inspires – positive change.

Constellation Award Winner
(Outstanding Volunteer Group)

South Arm United Church Outreach Committee

When it comes to volunteering, there are no age limits. Just ask ‘Grandma Gen.’ At 98 years old, she continues to serve her community, as a member of the South Arm United Church Outreach Committee.

The group has a long history of supporting Richmond’s charitable sector, raising funds through car boot sales, silent auctions, and its much-loved Annual Country Fair. 

Most significantly, however, the Outreach Committee has had a 20-year association with the Heart of Richmond AIDS Society, an organization that provides one-on-one and group support, counselling, and advocacy services to people living with HIV and AIDS. 

Each month, volunteers in the group host a free dinner for Heart of Richmond members, their families, and caregivers. Over the years, these gatherings have become a lifeline for vulnerable and isolated members, offering a supportive, safe, and familial atmosphere.  

For those living with HIV and AIDS, the dinners have had a positive impact on their health and self-esteem, giving them the confidence to engage in other community activities. 

During COVID, the dinners couldn’t happen, but the Committee volunteers didn’t stop. Rather than hosting a group meal, they prepared and packaged individual meals at home, then delivered them to the Heart of Richmond office, where they could be distributed to members. 

The volunteers give back in other ways as well, whether by providing members with emotional support, driving them to community events, or donating clothing and household items to members who are struggling financially. 

Earlier in April, the Committee hosted its first in-person dinner since the pandemic began. For both members and volunteers, it was something they had been looking forward to, and a chance to bring their shared community back together.

Nova Star Award Winner
(Outstanding Individual Volunteer)

Dawn Thomson

Special Olympics BC - Richmond

Salvation Army Rotary Hospice House

Dawn Thomson has been described as an “agent of equity.”  

Since 2004, she’s volunteered with the Richmond chapter of Special Olympics BC, supporting the organization at both the operational and executive levels.  

As Equipment Manager, she assists coaches in maintaining, tracking, and transporting sports equipment, uniforms, and other items, ensuring that Special Olympics athletes have everything they need to perform at their highest level. 

She’s also a coach herself. Currently, she works directly with 11 athletes, coordinating their annual program and equipment needs, and, together with her son, providing them with fundamental fitness exercises. 

When not on the court or the field, Dawn helps host social events for athletes, giving them an opportunity to come together, network, and celebrate as part of a larger community.  

In addition to all this, she’s one of the organization’s star fundraisers. From hosting pub nights to securing donations from local businesses, she works tirelessly so that individuals with intellectual disabilities can grow and thrive through the power of sport. 

Dawn's other passion is volunteering at the Salvation Army Rotary Hospice House, where she’s served since 2009. In her time there, she’s worked alongside care staff to support over 400 individuals and families, helping to make the end-of-life transition manageable, peaceful, and comforting. 

As the parent of a daughter living with Down Syndrome, Dawn speaks glowingly of the supports and services available to Richmond residents. Her family has benefitted from organizations like the Richmond Society for Community Living, and in turn, she’s paid it forward many times over.  

Reflecting on her life in Richmond, she says that it “gives me a sense of higher purpose and belonging to live and volunteer here.” In community service, she’s found a way to show gratitude and make a profound difference.

Watch the Event

On April 27, during National Volunteer Week, we held a virtual ceremony to announce the winners of the 2022 Volunteers Are Stars Awards. To everyone who attended - the recipients and nominees, their family and friends, elected officials and community partners - thank you for joining us. For those watching the recording, we appreciate you taking the time to learn more about our community's brilliant volunteers and their many accomplishments.

Of course, next year, we hope to once again host the Volunteers Are Stars Awards in person, so we can celebrate together. Whatever happens, though, one thing is certain: volunteers will continue to have a profound impact on the Richmond community, and we'll be here to thank them for all that they do.

Media Sponsor

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our Media Sponsor, the Richmond News. The paper is a friend of our organization, and a partner in promoting and encouraging volunteerism. Be sure to check our their April 21 issue for stories and features on local volunteers, and a full-page ad recognizing this year's Volunteers Are Stars nominees!

Richmond News

Previous Winners and Nominees

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.

2021 Winners and Nominees

2019 Winners and Nominees

2018 Winners and Nominees