Youth needed
Storefront begins recruiting drive

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 05/00) - This year's recruiting drive for Storefront for Volunteer Agencies is on. The local volunteer agency is hoping to increase its present membership of 50 volunteers to 300.

"I've been reading a lot of strong messages in the paper and now is the time to take a more pro-active role," said Shawn McCann, co-ordinator for Storefront.

There have been many changes to the Storefront organization over the last year. The agency has opted for a more scaled-back approach and has recently acquired new digs at the Centre Square Mall.

"We've eliminated a whole bunch of services, so we're now refocusing our attention back to the original youth volunteer model," explained McCann.

"Instead of providing specific services, the volunteer program will be choosing their own programs that they feel are worth pursuing.

"I've already worked with the skateboarders and snowboarders and if there are any others that are feeling left out, they should come in and use the space," she said.

Along with Storefront's renewed efforts to recruit youth volunteers, they would like to hear from more local support agencies as well.

"We're looking to get the two together (agencies and volunteers)," said McCann.

"I'm going to be talking to the agencies individually and I'll be visiting the schools before the term is up. I'd really like to encourage the kids to come in. I'm open to anything.

"There's not always a lot to do here, especially in the winter, so being involved with Storefront is good way to find something to do. Plus you learn organizational skills and it looks great on a resume."

Over the past year, Storefront has taken the lead in a myriad of initiatives, including the Trans-Canada Relay, Adopt a Park, the Stop Racism project, and a gardening project with the Yellowknife Senior's Society.

Martha MacLellan, director for the Baker Community Centre -- an agency for seniors -- says Storefront has been an integral part of their organization.

"We depend heavily on volunteers," MacLellan said. "One of the greatest benefits for both youth and seniors is the interaction between them.

"A lot of the youth don't have grandparents in the North. Last year, they helped with the gardens and had a youth picnic for the seniors and made a beautiful quilt to commemorate it."