It's the week to honour those selfless souls we see all over the community. From those picking up trash from their streets to organizing enormous events.

Those that do it all without pay. Who do it to simply help their neighbours, family and community.  

The National Volunteer Week is from Sunday, April 24 to Saturday, April 30. The theme for 2022, Volunteering Is Empathy In Action, affirms the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy. This profoundly human connection is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities.

Executive Director of the Rowan House Society Linette Soldan works with around 25 volunteers at the Rowan House Emergency Shelter in High River.

"For us, empathy is a driving force as to why people volunteer. Having the ability to understand another person's thoughts and feelings in a situation from their point of view, rather from our own can be a very vital skill for the human service agency."

She's worked with plenty of volunteers throughout her career and sees some common traits between them. 

"We find that a lot of times individuals want to volunteer because they want to give back to their community. That’s, I think, a really key kind of component. Another thing is sometimes there's a personal relationship to the cause of where they're volunteering. They also love to meet like-minded people. Who are also motivated in bringing the issue or the awareness to the community further."

All week we will be highlighting volunteers throughout the foothills. Additionally, there are several events honouring volunteers in our communities. If you know any volunteers in your social circle or workplace, take time this week to thank them.

High River is hosting the volunteers of the year awards on Thursday, April 28 at the Highwood Golf and Country Club.

Turner Valley residents can take part in a Volunteer Appreciation Open House also happening Thursday, April 28 from 5-7 p.m. at the Sheep River Library in Turner Valley. 

Okotoks' awards have been postponed.