It isn’t how the City of Langley would have liked to thank its volunteers this year, but civic leaders weren’t going to let the current provincial health orders prevent them from showing appreciation to the individuals who devout countless hours of their time each year.
Typically, the City would host a banquet to celebrate its volunteers and to show its appreciation, but current COVID-19 restrictions and a rise in daily case numbers means indoor gatherings are prohibited.
Instead, Mayor Val van den Broek and council signed letters for the approximate 120 local not-for-profit organizations, clubs, event committees, and City of Langley committee members.
“Every member of council sits on the various committees or task groups that Langley City forms to meet the needs of our residents,” explained Councillor Paul Albrecht. “Each and every member of City council values and respects the passion, effort, commitment, and time our volunteer community members provide to make our City so incredible. Words cannot capture our appreciation for our amazing group of dedicated volunteers and the significant contribution that each of these volunteers make. Their love of our City is truly unmatched and City council members love our volunteers. Without them Langley City would not be the vibrant, compassionate, and caring community that we are. All of Langley City Council would like to give all our volunteers a huge virtual hug of gratitude during these challenging times.”
Mayor and council had to figure out a way to show their appreciation because the pandemic prevented the traditional banquet.
“We know that COVID has taken a toll,” she said. “We just want to thank them and [let them know] that we value and treasure them.”
Each letter was tailored to the specific organization or individual based on their situation over the past year, like acknowledging the difficult decision they were faced with in putting an event or fundraising efforts or volunteer activities on hold for the year.
“Really their passion for serving is effortless. It’s been trying year and like I said, we just can’t thank them enough,” said van den Broek.
“They were just fluid and adaptable, and we really appreciate it.”
Last year, the City was able to host its annual volunteer appreciation banquet on March 10, just prior to COVID-19 restrictions.
Although the City wasn’t able to celebrate the volunteers in-person this year, van den Broek hopes next year will tell a different story.
“We’re hoping next year to celebrate in person again,” she said.
For the latest City-specific COVID-19 updates visit langleycity.ca/covid-19.