Did you know every* public servant in the federal government gets a “Volunteer day”? A day that they can use for…volunteering. In the community. For a worthy cause. Support a non-profit. Fundraising for a charity. You know.
Of the many public servants I have met, very few actually used the day for its intended purpose (volunteering). Surprisingly, many gloated about their use of the volunteer day to extend their vacation, volunteering to use it to “take a day off”.
I commend public servants who use the day to give back to their community. Myself, I used my volunteer day last year to put in a full weekday’s work at the Ottawa Mission (I later continued to volunteer every Saturday for several months until I moved to Toronto). Whenever a public servant applies their Volunteer Day to supporting their community, I think they should share, with pride, their experience.
In my opinion, non-profits would be aghast to find out that skilled and experienced public servants are extending their vacation days when they could be doing very important work supporting non-profits in the important work they do.
Bottom-line: the vacation day is not a day off. It’s a day on; to give back to the community. Not because they have to (they don’t), but because it’s the right thing to do.
Other relevant tweets
Maybe just not enough is known about Volunteer Day. Myself, it took me the better part of another day to find the right non-profit that could put me to work. With a little coordination by willing public servants, there is a lot of good that can be had to promote volunteer opportunities for willing public servants. Part of this may need to come from charities and non-profits themselves to reach-out for public servant’s volunteer day, and be prepared to apply their efforts.
Let me help:
I believe there’s a page on the Federal Government’s Public Service Wiki, GCPEDIA, with a schedule for public servants to volunteer at the Ottawa Mission. If someone has the link, please enter it below.