LAKELAND - The Government of Alberta is looking for nominees for its 'Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards.'
The awards are meant to recognize people making a lasting impact in their communities.
“Volunteers are the driving force behind the recreational, social and cultural programs that make our communities great. During these challenging times, it is more important than ever to recognize volunteers helping Albertans stay connected and feel supported," said Leela Sharon Aheer, Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.
Two awards are given in each of the following categories: youth (up to 24 years old), adult, and senior. The 'Breaking Barriers' category also recognizes volunteers who are working to create communities that are diverse and inclusive.
"Three awards are presented in this category to individuals who are addressing racism, advocating for LGBTQ2S+ inclusion and fighting gender discrimination in their communities," according to the Government of Alberta.
Since the inception of the 'Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards' in 2000, 136 volunteers from across the province have been honoured. Albertans are encouraged to submit nominations online. The deadline for nominations is Sept. 15.
Alberta has more than 26,400 non-profit organizations and, each year, more than 1.6 million Albertans provide more than 262 million volunteer hours to support the non-profit and voluntary sector at a value of $5.6 billion, according to information from the Government of Alberta.
National Volunteer Week runs from April 18 to 24. This year's theme is: 'The Value of One, The Power of Many.' The chosen theme reflects on the inspiring acts of kindness by millions of individuals, and the magic that happens when Canadians work together, toward a common purpose.
"This past year, we have seen people supporting family, friends, neighbours, and strangers, people standing up to systemic racism, and people sharing insights on how to create a more just and equitable society. We recognize the value of the caring and compassion that each one has shown another, and we recognize the power of people, organizations, and sectors working together," reads a statement on the Volunteer Canada website.