In honour of National Volunteer Week, we turn our attention to our Chair of the Vancouver Police Foundation Board, Dr. Sherri Magee. Sherri is just one of the dozens of volunteers that we rely on each year. She is a strong female leader that has dedicated much of her time to volunteering, most recently with our Foundation in the role of Chair, and also with another important local organization, the Streetohome Foundation.
Sherri was originally introduced to the Vancouver Police Foundation (VPF) in 2016 in her role as Vice-Chair of Vancouver Police Board liaison with the VPF. In that position she quickly learned how impactful and far-reaching VPF fundedprograms were and was impressed with the depth and breadth of these initiatives.
“I was so inspired when I started learning more about the Foundation’s grants,” says Sherri. “I also had the opportunity to attend many programs and it was incredible to witness VPD officers truly changing lives. Its not just the participants’ life they are changing, we’ve seen that our programs have a positive ripple effect into their families as well.”
She notes that witnessing the direct impact that VPF programs have on youth, women and seniors in particular, is a motivating factor for why she continues to get more involved with her time.
“I attended a Women’s Personal Safety Workshop and saw first-hand how transformational it was. Women left feeling empowered and with an important skillset to protect themselves. The two female VPD officers who created this program have reached over 5000 women and trained 30 female officers to deliver the workshops – that’s making a difference in our community.”
The importance of volunteering and giving back to your community has never been more important than it is today.
“I always encourage people of all ages to start volunteering as early as they can. Learn the important issues in your community and find a way to apply your interest and passion to that cause. The more engaged you are, the more inspired you’ll become and the greater impact you will have.”
Many people might be surprised to learn how many VPD officers go above and beyond to volunteer their time after shifts and on days-off. In fact, most of the nearly 80 programs funded by the VPF in 2021 are managed and operated by VPD officers on a voluntary basis. The generous nature of these officers is another reason why Sherri is inspired to volunteer her time in such a significant capacity with the VPF.
“VPD officers are dedicated, professional and very compassionate, and that translates to their community involvement as well,” explains Sherri. “While on-shift they areon the streets, identifying problems at a neighbourhood level, they then come to the Foundation with ideas of how they can support individuals in that community. It’s truly heartwarming to fund innovative programs that reach into every neighbourhood in our city.”
Volunteering with others that share the same motivations to make a difference in their community is fulfilling, inspiring and fun! “I often think to myself: How fortunate am I that I get to do this?” says Sherri.
For more information about how to get involved with the Vancouver Police Foundation, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.