Sharing the Thanks on International Volunteers Day 2015

Here at WWF-Canada, critical conservation work could not happen without our volunteers. From cheering on CN Tower climbers to wearing the Panda mascot costume and representing WWF at events, to assisting with snow leopard research; we could not achieve our goals without these outstanding volunteers.
Our volunteers wear many other hats; they are students, parents, active citizens, caretakers, mentors and friends. For International Volunteers Day, we wanted to share our appreciation for WWF-Canada’s 326 active volunteers directly with the people in their lives. We want to show how these volunteers make WWF shine, to their families, workplaces, schools and friends.
Our Associate Specialist, Volunteers, Jessica Pang-Parks recently sent letters to the people who matter most to our top volunteers. Read on to find out more about some of our best panda pals!

IVD 2015 Photo with John Mackie
Jessica and John. © Jody Hewitt/ WWF-Canada

John Mackie and his wife Janet London have been married for 37 years. Together, they have hiked countless kilometres in the Canadian wilderness, enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. This is Jessica’s message to Janet:
Dear Janet,
Thank you so much for sharing your husband John with us. I’m sure you have witnessed his kind heart in action in many ways throughout the years. In celebration of International Volunteers Day, I want to tell you about how John’s gift of time has helped us develop relationships with our supporters at WWF-Canada.
With patience and care, John thanks our supporters and listens to their experiences in, and concerns about, nature. His authenticity and attentiveness carry so well over the phone – making these interactions even more meaningful for our supporters. We are grateful for John because he represents WWF wholeheartedly in this volunteer role. His patience and kindness inspires both volunteers and staff.
We look forward to having John on the team for years to come.
Yours in Nature,
Jessica, Associate Specialist, Volunteers
© Lesley Kahan / WWF-Canada
© Lesley Kahan / WWF-Canada

Caleigh Perrett recently started volunteering in our Toronto office, and has already proven her breadth of skills and keen eye for details. Reggie Tika supervises Caleigh at her day job, and is responsible for LUSH charitable giving in Toronto. This is our panda letter to Reggie:
Dear Reggie,
I’m sure you already know that Caleigh is awesome – but I wanted to reinforce her awesomeness to you on this International Volunteers Day! Thank you for developing amazing staff like Caleigh and encouraging them to be volunteers in the community.
Caleigh comes to her shift every week with great enthusiasm. We’ve witnessed her willingness to learn new things and take on any project. She picked up our new VoIP phone system and the Raiser’s Edge database very quickly, efficiently using technology to perform customer service and administrative tasks.
Most impressively, Caleigh undertook the challenge of filing our donation records with a meticulous mindset and positive attitude. She understands the importance of accurate filing and its significance in adhering to CRA guidelines and financial transparency for WWF-Canada’s Imagine Canada accreditation. We are so grateful for Caleigh’s volunteer contributions!
Jessica, Associate Specialist, Volunteers
© Aditi Gupta
© Aditi Gupta

Aditi Gupta started volunteering with WWF-Canada at a Kids Fun Day event where she engaged with children and their parents about the unique lifecycle of the monarch butterfly, and explained how planting milkweed will allow the species to thrive again. Aditi is completing her Bachelor in Environmental Studies degree at York University, where Gail Fraser is one of her professors and supervised Aditi’s research on invasive fire ant interactions with cormorants. This is WWF’s message to Gail:
Dear Gail,
Thank you for inspiring Aditi to pursue her interest in conservation ecology. Aditi’s passion for the environment and curiosity about different species is remarkable. She asks thoughtful questions about conservation decisions as she engages with WWF-Canada’s work.
She motivates herself and others with this dedication to conservation. We were so lucky to have Aditi on the volunteer team for the 25th Annual CN Tower Climb. Before the event, Aditi reached out to almost 400 climbers over the course of one week to encourage their fundraising efforts and answer any questions about the event. But her contributions didn’t stop there. Aditi arrived at the event at 4:30 a.m. to provide directions to climbers and their supporters; she made sure participants got their prizes, their climb times, and their t-shirts. Aditi smiled and approached every interaction with grace and exuberance. Aditi’s passion and dedication, combined with her knowledge, will take her to great places.
For Wild Spaces and Wild Species,
Jessica, Associate Specialist, Volunteers
Thank you to the thousands of volunteers past and present at WWF-Canada for your time and your efforts. If you want to take action for nature by volunteering, check out our current opportunities or join the volunteer pool.