JIS News

A Hall of Fame and Volunteer Awards ceremony will highlight a week of activities being staged by the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS), to mark this National Volunteer Week 2012, from December 2 to 8.

United States Ambassador, Her Excellency Pamela Bridgewater, will be guest speaker at the function, slated for the Jamaica Pegasus hotel, New Kingston, on December 4, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Governor-General, His Excellency, the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who will also be in attendance, will read the proclamation, officially declaring National Volunteer Week, being observed this year under the theme: ‘Celebrating Volunteers in Action’.

Other scheduled activities for the week include: publication of a supplement on December 2; the launch of the CVSS National Volunteer Centre Registry of Volunteers Database and Website on December 5; and the staging of the organisation’s seventh annual Day of Care at St. William Grant Park, downtown Kingston.   

In providing details at a media launch at the CVSS National Volunteer Centre, Camp Road, St. Andrew, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Winsome Wilkins, said that eight awards will be presented to persons, organisations and entities, which have demonstrated outstanding and dedicated volunteerism.

The awards are: the Marion Ballysingh (Individual) Award; Young Leader Award to a youth, 15 to 24 years; Private Sector Award for any private sector company; Public Sector Award for any public sector department or section (save for an entire Ministry); Outstanding Volunteer in the Private/Public Sector Award to a current member of staff within the private/ public sector for a period of no less than three years; Non-Profit Organization Award for any non-profit body, community-based organization, faith-based entity, service club or agency; Outstanding Volunteer in the Non-Profit Sector Award to a volunteer with the particular organization, committee or club; and  CVSS’ Member Agency of the Year Award.

Nominations are currently being accepted by the CVSS at the National Volunteer Centre, and are open to the general public for all categories, except the Outstanding Volunteer in the Non-Profit Sector, and Outstanding Volunteer in the Private/Public Sector Awards, which Mrs. Wilkins said "must be submitted/nominated by the organization itself”. Nominations should be submitted in a letter format, outlining full details on the nominee.  

Details of the nomination process are available on the CVSS website at: www.cvssjamaica.org, and submissions can either be dropped off at the National Volunteer Centre, at 2D Camp Road, Kingston 5, or e-mailed to volregistry@yahoo.com   The deadline for submissions is Friday, October 26, 2012, and the winners will be determined by a five-member panel, chaired by CVSS President, the Most Hon. Lady Rheima Hall.

Regarding the launch of the CVSS National Volunteer Centre Registry of Volunteers database and website, Mrs. Wilkins informed that the registry is intended to create volunteering opportunities for persons, where they can register.

"Organizations will be able to search for volunteers as well as post volunteering opportunities (on the website). It is a very interactive website that will allow persons to share their volunteering experience, thereby encouraging other persons to serve," she said.

The CEO said the CVSS will cater to over 600 homeless persons during the Day of Caring, on December 8.These persons, she outlined, will be provided with packages, clothing, hot meals, medical assistance, and “edutainment” on various health and social issues. 

In her remarks, Lady Hall noted that National Volunteer Week “provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the important contributions that volunteers make to our nation”.

"It's also a time for all Jamaicans to recognize these unsung heroes, who make such a big impact with each and every hour of service; and during (that) week, we (will) thank them and celebrate their commitment," Lady Hall stated.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Jamaica, Dr. Raymond Brown, in commending the CVSS on its undertakings, and endorsing its activities, encouraged persons to get involved in existing volunteer opportunities or develop new ones, adding that: "doing so will be rewarding, not just for your community, but also for you”.