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Fundraiser nets 4,000 hours of volunteer manpower
A unique fundraiser combining art and volunteerism recently raised more than 4,000 volunteer hours for local non-profit organizations.
The second annual Timeraiser took place May 25 in a packed atrium at the Richardson College for the Environment & Science Complex at the University of Winnipeg.
"It’s a unique twist that’s catching people’s eyes," said Timeraiser co-chair Janellyn Marcial.
Launched in Toronto in 2004, Timeraisers are part volunteer fair and part silent art auction, matching those interested in volunteering with local agencies needing the support or a particular skill set.
Once matches are made, participants are eligible to bid on artwork, bidding volunteer hours instead of money. Winning bidders must complete their volunteer hours before receiving the art, and can complete their hours at any agency in the city.
The concept has quickly spread across the country, raising close to 100,000 volunteer hours, auctioning off more than 800 pieces of art and investing more than $581,648 in local artists.
"We’re looking to make sure people know the importance of volunteering and supporting local artists as well," Marcial said, noting artists were paid for their works in the auction.
Fifteen works of art were up for auction and some 26 local non-profits from across took part in this year’s event, including L’Arche (Transcona), Deer Lodge Centre (St. James), and L’Accueil francophone du Manitoba (St. Boniface).
Heather Black, director of volunteers and events for the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg, said the organization was drawn by the event’s goal of targeting young professionals with skills non-profits might not be able to afford otherwise.
Last year, the organization was matched with Darlene Walsh, who bid a maximum 100 hours.
"It sounded like a really innovative idea. We were fortunate to be invited to be involved," Black said.
Walsh, who runs her own business, Dar Creative Productions, spent more than 100 hours volunteering her time helping the organization develop video and multimedia content.
"I know non-profits don’t have a budget for that sort of thing," she said, noting she spent time with the club as a child.
But the volunteering brought an intangible neither could predict — a chance to mentor the organization’s youth.
"I had a great opportunity to talk to them about video production and what I do," she said.
"It sparks their imagination. It’s taking volunteering a step further," she said.
For more, visit www.timeraiser.ca.
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