International Volunteer Day

December 5th is International Volunteer DayAt WWF-Canada, our work would not be possible without the commitment of all of our amazing volunteers!
Here are some of this year’s highlights:
Uwe Stueckmann’s story
Uwe Stueckmann, senior Vice-President of marketing at Loblaw Companies Limited, isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He has been participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a joint initiative by WWF and Vancouver Aquarium presented by Loblaw, for years. He first discovered the cleanup accidently: “I was out for a run with my dog along Taylor Creek [in Toronto] and I saw some folks pulling garbage from the creek beds,” Stueckmann recalls. “The next year I organized a cleanup with my kids and we’ve been participating ever since”. Now, Stueckmann joins the cleanup as part of “Team Loblaw.” Last year, 1,600 Loblaw employees participated in the cleanup, contributing to 100,000 kilograms of litter being collected from 3,035 kilometres of shorelines across Canada. “The cleanup is a great way to get your team together outside of work, roll up your sleeves and engage in conservation,” Stueckmann says.
“It’s so encouraging to see the difference that a morning of work can make to our shorelines and waterways.”

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© Cherie Cohen / WWF-Canada

David’s story
David Seepersad has been a devoted CN Tower Climb volunteer for an astonishing 11 years. This means 11 years of 4 a.m. arrival times—that alone is a feat worth celebrating! David has been an invaluable volunteer at the tower start line (he’s known among staff for bringing pastries every year), and he even climbs and fundraises each year on top of volunteering. For David, the CN Tower Climb is an opportunity to support an organization whose mission of engaging people with nature aligns with his own beliefs. With an educational background in environmental engineering, David firmly believes in the importance of environmental awareness, and appreciates WWF’s commitment to ensuring a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
“The best part of the climb is seeing thousands of climbers who are there because they want to support environmental and conservation work.”
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© David Seepersad

Andrew and Olivia’s story
As students of Queen’s University in picturesque Kingston, Ontario, Andrew Shaw and Olivia Geen love returning to their clean, green campus—their home away from home—each fall. The campus is located on Lake Ontario and framed by the clean energy backdrop of Wolf Island’s towering wind turbines. Andrew and Olivia are co-presidents of the campus club WWF at Queen’s, and “One of the things the club values most is the city’s shoreline. The issue of shoreline litter and its harmful impact on local ecosystems is something we can relate to as individuals and as a community.” The club had an impressive turnout for its first Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and hopes to keep students informed about conservation throughout the year, helping to conserve Kingston’s shoreline for students, residents, and aquatic neighbours alike!
“As members of the community, it is our responsibility to give back to the city that is our home away from home by participating in sustainability initiatives throughout the year.”
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© Andrew Shaw and Olivia Geen

Laura’s story
Laura Miller has been an outstanding volunteer at the WWF Toronto office for the past three years. As a donor relations volunteer, Laura keeps the wheels in motion at reception, greeting visitors and providing impeccable customer service on the phones. Driving Laura’s commitment is a deep-rooted passion for our natural world—in particular for ocean conservation. A lifelong travel bug led Laura to discover her passion for ocean conservation. While in Costa Rica three years ago, Laura volunteered on a sea turtle conservation project. After that, she was hooked and continued volunteering on international conservation projects in countries such as Cambodia and Madagascar. These experiences inspired Laura to pursue a career in ocean conservation and she was recently accepted to complete her masters in marine management at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
“Working on ocean conservation projects around the world, I saw the first-hand effects of environmental degradation – I was inspired to learn more.”
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©Laura Miller

We’d like to thank all of the volunteers that have donated their time in 2014 to WWF-Canada.  If you’re interested in volunteering with us, please check out our website for current opportunities, or email: [email protected].