Article and Photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Tri-County Literacy Council organized a remarkable Volunteer Appreciation Day on June 29, 2023, celebrating the selfless dedication of their invaluable volunteers. The event, held at the Tri-County Literacy Council classroom inside Trinity Anglican Church, was a resounding success, with attendees enjoying a light lunch and door prizes. The classroom was adorned with flower arrangements, balloons, tablecloths, and decorations. The event featured inspiring speeches from key figures within the organization.
The esteemed guests who took the stage included Interim Chairperson Denise Paquette and Administrative Assistant Carolyn Eva, who delivered heartfelt speeches expressing gratitude for the volunteers’ exceptional efforts. City Councillor Sarah Good also graced the event with her presence, highlighting the importance of literacy initiatives within the community.
“Tri-County Literacy provides an essential service to our community by providing education and skills upgrading to some of our most vulnerable residents. This helps to bolster our economy by providing workers with essential literacy and professional skills to effectively contribute to our workforce,” said City Councillor Sarah Good.
“Volunteers are a crucial component to the success of any non-profit organization. By giving their time to this cause, they are helping mentor and supporting the development and success of people who may be struggling to find adequate employment,” Good continued.
One of the highlights of the Volunteer Appreciation Day was a touching video slideshow, where several learners expressed their heartfelt appreciation for the tutors and shared personal stories of triumph and growth. The emotional testimonials demonstrated the transformative impact that Tri-County Literacy Council has had on individuals seeking to enhance their literacy skills.
The event’s success would not have been possible without the generous support of the event sponsors. The Tri-County Literacy Council thanks Best Western, Dairy Queen, Farm Boy, Fairy Sweet, Pommier Jewellers, and the City of Cornwall for their contributions.
Tri-County Literacy Council, a community-based non-profit organization, remains committed to enriching individuals and the community by addressing literacy needs. The organization helps learners set goals and aids them with essential skills training such as reading, writing, math, computer literacy, and verbal communication skills. With a dedicated team of volunteers recruited from the community, Tri-County Literacy Council helps learners achieve their employment, personal, and individual goals. The organization’s services are easily accessible and designed to foster ongoing growth.
In a statement, Executive Director Dina McGowan spoke passionately about the significance of volunteers in supporting the organization’s mission. “Volunteers are the lifeline of Tri-County Literacy Council. They offer their knowledge, skills, and friendship to individuals seeking connections. The connection may be to skills needed for employment, independence, and/or further education and training. Volunteers provide learners and others with the links needed to bring their dreams to fruition,” she emphasized.
McGowan further highlighted the profound impact that volunteers have on the lives of learners. “Selfless volunteers often don’t see the significance of the meaningful differences they make in learners’ lives. From helping learners read their first words, write their first letter, obtain a GED, to acquiring the skills necessary for employment, volunteers at Tri-County Literacy Council inspire and provide the hope that all the best is yet to come,” McGowan added.
Volunteer Coordinator Carol Anne Maloney also expressed her appreciation for the extraordinary contributions made by volunteers. “Volunteers at Tri-County Literacy Council make important contributions by providing precious time, encouragement, and sharing knowledge with adult learners. We are so grateful to volunteers who give so freely their time and heart for the betterment of others,” she stated.
Maloney emphasized the unique nature of the organization’s one-on-one program, which offers individual mentorship for adult learners. “Many individuals in our community would not receive help with basic essential skills needed to function in our increasingly complex society if it were not for the generosity of our volunteers at Tri-County Literacy Council. Our one-on-one program is unique in our community, providing individual mentorship for adult learners,” Maloney remarked.
Volunteer Wendy Coneybeare reflected on her volunteer work with the organization. “I began volunteering with Tri-County Literacy Council when I was looking for a volunteer opportunity that would allow me to share my love of reading with someone who was developing their own skills and confidence around reading and numeracy.”
“I have worked with a variety of learners since 2010, each of whom had their own reasons for wanting to improve their literacy, numeracy, or English-As-A-Second Language skills. The most rewarding part of the experience for me is witnessing the growth in confidence and self-esteem as learners develop their strengths and are able to apply new skills in their daily lives. It is deeply satisfying to know that I have been able to contribute to someone’s life in a meaningful way,” Coneybeare commented.
The Volunteer Appreciation Day organized by Tri-County Literacy Council not only celebrated the exceptional efforts of their volunteers but also served as a reminder of the invaluable role literacy plays in empowering individuals and strengthening communities.
Visit the TCLC website for more information about their upcoming courses, programs, and volunteer opportunities.