Volunteer Manitoba is a hub for volunteerism throughout the province. Their mission is to “promote and recognize volunteerism across the province, connect Manitobans, and build capacity to meet community needs”, which they achieve by providing “information, training and resources for volunteers, non profit organizations, charities and community groups” (Volunteer Manitoba website).
Every year Volunteer Manitoba hosts the Volunteer Awards, an evening gala that celebrates “the contributions that individuals and groups have made to enrich the lives of Manitobans” (Volunteer Manitoba website).
Spark has been involved with the awards since 2015, presenting the Spark Outstanding Pro Bono award to “an individual or company who has shown themselves to be a leader in the community, providing pro bono services to Winnipeg’s community development and community economic development organizations through the completion of a successful match” (Volunteer Manitoba website).
We look forward to this day every year because it gives us a chance to recognize one of our volunteers and the impact their work has had on the community.
To celebrate the upcoming awards we wanted to look back on Spark’s past winners and nominees. Here are the winners since the first Spark Outstanding Pro Bono Award:
- 2015- Lawrence Lazarko won for his work with Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM) to complete an IT audit and planning. Over the course of a few months, Lawrence led a project that helped IRCOM understand their current IT situation and set them up to be able to hire a new IT employee.
- 2016- Blueprint Law accepted the award for their match with Oshki-Giizhig. Together, members of the law firm and the organization worked on obtaining charitable tax status from the Canada Revenue Agency.
- 2017- Stephanie Srouple won for her development of a new database for the John Howard Society. The organization used the database for tracking and reporting their bail program.
- 2018- Jason Kasper and IDEATE Design, an interior design firm, worked with Fort Garry Women’s Resource Centre (FGWRC) to evaluate the current and future space needs of the Centre, producing a list of recommendations and points to consider. FGWRC will be able to use the recommendations to help evaluate potential new locations in the coming years.
Last year a number of organizations we worked with nominated their Spark volunteer as a way to recognize them for their fantastic leadership, coordination, and the impact they had on the organization. To celebrate, we wrote volunteer profiles for each nominee. Please read the stories of Foster Lyle , Stephen Pitre, Jill Knaggs and Elise Epp, Dinis Prazeres, George Harris, Jackie Hogue, and Monica Giesbrecht and Rachelle Kirouac to learn about their commitment to doing pro bono work and how they helped make a stronger Winnipeg.