Volunteer Opportunities

ESS Volunteer – Emergency Preparedness Week

Volunteers help improve quality of life for others while gaining valuable experience and developing new skills.  Volunteers enjoy an improved overall health.

In Canada 161,000 non-profit and charitable organizations have no paid staff and rely solely on volunteers.  12.7 million volunteers contribute close to 2 billion hours annually.  Image what our community would look like if all that went away.

Help build Oliver as a resilient community – volunteer today.

Recognize a volunteer you know by Nominating them for the Spirit of Oliver Award. Nominations open February 3rd. 

For more information contact: Anita Bains

250-492-4305 ext 3244


Health Equipment Loan Program Volunteers

Did you know our Red Cross teams are still supporting people and communities even during COVID-19. Our HELP Depots are set up to respect physical distancing and limit contact. The Canadian Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on improving the lives of the people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. 

The health and safety of our teams and our clients is our top priority and we have the processes in place to keep people safe. All the while making sure people and caregivers can access the health equipment they need to return home safely from surgery, illness or injury. Even during COVID-19, the need for health equipment continues.

We are looking for Client Services Volunteers. If you have 4-8 hours per week, consider volunteering in the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program. No experience necessary and full training is provided.

For more information or to apply now visit:

Emergency Management Volunteers

We are looking for volunteers with a passion for helping those in need and supporting their communities!

Did you know our Red Cross teams are still supporting people and communities even during COVID-19.

Personal Disaster Assistance Responders work with community members who have experienced personal emergencies (such as house fires or floods), conducting needs assessments and providing emotional comfort, referrals, and financial supports.
For more information or to apply now visit: https://tre.tbe.taleo.net/tre01/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=CRCS&cws=56&rid=6607

The Emergency Response Team provides support for beneficiaries  for larger disasters, and may be mobilized across the province or across the country. Volunteers are on-call for when disaster/emergencies strike, but respond periodically within their individual availabilities, and with a few days notice.
For more information or to apply now visit: https://tre.tbe.taleo.net/tre01/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=CRCS&cws=56&rid=6594

Additional volunteer opportunities can be viewed by visiting https://www.redcross.ca/volunteer/apply-now?provinces=41_British-Columbia-and-Yukon

If you have questions about becoming a volunteer or the application process, please connect with our Volunteer Engagement Team please e-mail us at volunteerBCY@redcross.ca

Emergency Support Services (ESS) help preserve the well-being of British Columbians during or immediately following an emergency.  The ESS program helps people affected by large emergencies, but may also assist during smaller emergencies such as house fires or disasters affecting a few members of a community.  When people are forced to evacuate their homes, the ESS program will often direct them to reception centres or group lodging facilities.

Volunteers are needed to staff various positions in different areas in a reception centre.  Some of these areas include: meet & greet, food services, transportation, information, translation services, front line assistance, security, first aid, family reunification, child care, pet care, recreation, emotional support, logistics and administrative support.

A Reception Centre is a facility or location that can be used for many different purposes, such as gathering during temporary displacement, information sharing, or a staging site for volunteer disaster relief workers.

As a volunteer with ESS we ask that you:

  • Be an advocate for emergency preparedness
  • Be personally prepared for an emergency
  • Assist in set-up and take down of Emergency Reception Centre
  • Perform duties as indicated through training or areas of interest
  • Ensure needs of evacuees are met
  • Complete and submit required paperwork
  • Perform assigned duties, as required

To learn more about ESS, please watch this short video

Introduction to Emergency Support Service training –  Click Here.

Introductory ESS Training

The Justice Institute of British Columbia’s (JIBC) course Introduction to Emergency Support Services (ESS100) provides new ESS responders with an overview of emergency support services. Course topics include:

  • Local authority emergency management;
  • Primary support services;
  • Specialized services;
  • The role of ESS in emergency management; and
  • Personal preparedness for ESS workers.

The course is free and is offered online and through distance learning.

For more information about emergency support services training, please see the JIBC’s Emergency Support Services web pages.

Emergency Social Services Directors Course

The ESSD course is the highest level of ESS training available and is reserved for those who are in, or are preparing for a leadership position with their team. 

Julie Forster and Caitlyn Bennett (Food Secure Coordinator). Photo Credit Dan Walton

The Harvest Hut is a space for members of the community to share fresh produce.  Anyone with excess vegetables in their garden or farm was invited to bring their extras to the Hut each Monday.

The Hut is open to all members of the public, not only those battling food insecurity.  The Hut is an opportunity to connect anyone wanting produce with anyone that has more than then need.

Food from the Edible Pathway project was brought to the Hut each Monday’s harvest.

For more information contact the Food Secure Coordinator

Harvest Hut Volunteer Application Form

Harvest Hut Volunteer Description

Oliver Citizens Crime Watch (OCCW), coordinated by Shirley Zelinski, is a small organization of dedicated volunteers.  OCCW was created by a group of volunteers in 1994 who met to discuss how to best provide services to the local RCMP, Town of Oliver and the surrounding rural area.  Subsequently, OCCW was established to provide Crime Watch Patrols, Speed Watch and other services to the Town.  In the intervening years, the organization has seen many volunteers come and go, and continues to thrive, offering its services to the community for everyone’s mutual benefit.  The success of OCCW is that they continue to assess the communities needs and protective factors required that aid in interventions.  OCCW has developed and implemented effective programs and practices based on the information that is available to them.  Partnerships have been built with the Town of Oliver, Oliver RCMP, ICBC, the British Columbia Crime Prevention Association, other local crime prevention stakeholders in the greater Oliver and Penticton areas.

To volunteer please contact Oliver Crime Watch for more information.

Click on Image for information to volunteer with Oliver Parks and Recreation.

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is one way to respond to a criminal act, based on a philosophy that views crime as a violation of relationships. It puts the emphasis on the harm caused to both individuals and communities by recognizing that crime is both a violation of the relationships between specific people and an offence against everyone – the community.

Restorative Justice provides a constructive and meaningful response to crime and conflict, and encourages opportunities for accountability, understanding, problem solving and healing.

The Restorative Justice process requires wrongdoers to recognize the harm they have caused, to accept responsibility for their actions and to be actively involved in improving the situation. Individuals that meet the criteria for the program are referred by the arresting officer.

If you have an interest in learning more about the program, or the requirements in training and commitment to qualify as a volunteer facilitator, please contact the Program Manager at 250-490-2372, or by email at communitypolicing@penticton.ca.

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