Inspired to volunteer

Shawna McCrea is this week's Volinspire volunteer of the week.

What inspires you to volunteer?

I have been involved with the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce for the past 14 years. I am passionate about local businesses and love helping them when I can. Having worked in the financial industry for the past 20-plus years, I have been so inspired by entrepreuners and the amazing businesses they create.

My daughter Kailey became the first Kelowna Chamber Junior Ambassador in 2014. It has been great to volunteer together. We very much enjoy welcoming new businesses to the chamber and hosting after-hours events. We have particularily enjoyed the Ambassador Annual Expo events, including the ambassador-led Wedding Expos in 2015 and 2016, which showcased the many chamber businesses that work in the wedding industry.

Kailey organized and led a photo shoot and fashion show each year. It takes a tremendous amount of work to host a successful event and the positive feedback has been amazing.

Which cause are you most passionate about?

I care about local businesses, as they are the foundation of our communities - KelownaChamber.org

I care about well-being and want everyone to have a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. Kailey volunteers at Balance Well-Being.

I care about animals. They bring so much joy to the world. Kailey and I have volunteered at Arion Horse Therapy together, which is an amazing organization.

I care about students. As an alumni at UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College, I love volunteering to support students.

What impact have you seen volunteers make?

I have seen volunteers help to create a place to connect and belong, lifting people and businesses up. I have also witnessed the creation of close teams of volunteers – a tribe, a family – and have seen ambassadors out in the community creating awareness.

How can people get involved?

As for all businesses, awareness is key. People can help by spreading the word to reach more people. It is great that Volinspire is helping create that awareness.

Is there someone you would like to recognize?

I am so very inspired by Laurie Bartley and her volunteer work for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association.
She is manager of volunteers there, and a lifetime member with 10 years of volunteering.

– Do you know an inspiring volunteer? Nominate them for a volunteer spotlight.

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