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Toronto, April 20, 2022 – While volunteering benefits the community, it also offers meaning to those who give their time. In the recent survey, 62% of RTOERO members agreed that volunteering contributes to the enjoyment of retirement life.
Since 1968, RTOERO has been a voice for teachers, school and board administrators, educational support staff and college and university faculty in their retirement. The organization promotes healthy, active living in the retirement journey for the broader education community. Its vision is a healthy, active future for every member of the education retiree community in Canada. Volunteerism is a big part of that.
In advance of National Volunteer Week (April 24–30), RTOERO surveyed its 81,000 members about how and why they volunteer. The results show a large and committed volunteer force.
Almost two thirds of RTOERO’s 81,000+ members (64%) volunteer regularly. That’s well above the Canadian average for this age group, which hovers at around 40 per cent, according to Volunteer Canada.
In a typical month, these individuals volunteer 20 hours. Do the math, and that’s more than 12 million hours a year from RTOERO members: 1 million hours a month towards volunteer activities across Canada.
“We’re a volunteer-led organization, and are also an organization filled with volunteers,” says Rich Prophet, the chair of the board at RTOERO. “Within our membership, there is a strong culture of community service.”
Members volunteer for RTOERO itself, and also for every imaginable community cause – organizing events, serving on committees and boards, fundraising, mentoring, collecting and delivering food, supporting health care, protecting the environment, and much more.
Community connection is one of the stated values of RTOERO, and volunteer service is one of the major ways that plays out.
When asked why they volunteer, a majority of members cited things like a desire to give back and make a difference (71%), the social interactions related to the volunteer role (66%), and the chance to make new friends and meet people (60%).
What else do RTOERO members gain through these experiences?
“It gives a sense of purpose, an opportunity to meet and interact with others, and to contribute to the well-being of our neighbours, however, we can,” said one RTOERO member. Or, as another member put it succinctly, “It feels good to help.”
That impulse didn’t start in retirement. The RTOERO survey found that 72 per cent of members volunteered when they were in the workforce.
A snapshot of RTOERO volunteers reveals the many ways they contribute:
To augment the many volunteer and advocacy roles that members play in their communities, RTOERO also runs an annual grant program within its districts that support local, national or international causes. Typically, RTOERO members also donate their time to these causes.
“RTOERO members cared about their communities throughout their careers and now serve them every day in retirement,” says Prophet.
RTOERO media contact:
Sylvia Link, Director of Marketing and Communications, [email protected], 416-209-1249 (cell)