Thousands expected to sign up to lend a hand during Olympics
JEFF HODSON/METRO VANCOUVER
Wanted: 25,000 energetic, enthusiastic people with flexible work schedules and no criminal records to volunteer for two-week world-class sporting event. Language skills are a plus.
Organizers of the 2010 Olympic Games said yesterday — International Volunteer Day — that they expect a flood of volunteers when the online application process begins in February.
"We expect to have a really good enrolment," said Donna Wilson, VANOC’s executive vice-president of human resources.
"It’s going to be a once in a life-time experience. We know this opportunity isn’t going to come again in this generation to this part of Canada."
Potential volunteers are expected from around the world, with the bulk coming from the Lower Mainland. Successful applicants will also have to pass a criminal record check.
Dominique Anglade, who is on maternity leave and has been working as a pre-Olympic volunteer with VANOC since October, has volunteered with more than 20 organizations in her life.
"I think it is important for people to contribute," said Anglade, whose volunteerism began with an anti-smoking campaign when she was 12. "It is important for people to try and make a difference and give back."
Barney Ellis-Perry, chair of Volunteer Canada, said VANOC will have a "fantastic flood" of applicants.
He estimates that VANOC will have to screen more than 100,000 people to hit their target of 25,000 volunteers.