The O’Keefe Ranch is looking for help as it gets set to open for a new season on May 13th.
The ranch is looking for volunteers, who play a key role in the daily operations.
Officials at the ranch say without volunteers, it simply could not operate as it does today.
In 2017, the O’Keefe Ranch logged more than 5300 volunteer hours.
That’s seen as significant value for a registered non-profit and charitable organization, with a staff of four full time employees and up to 16 part-time, student, and seasonal employees.
According to BC Community Gaming Grant, a fund provider for the Ranch, the dollar value of volunteers is between $15-$20 per hour, and for the Ranch that sum amounts to between $80,000 – $100,000 of saved wages.
Marketing and Events Coordinator Kelly MacIntosh says volunteers cannot be measured in dollar value alone.
They contribute in unique ways, bringing a variety of skills, passion and experience to their role.
Some Ranch volunteers have been involved with the interpretive and education program for decades and they come with a wealth of knowledge and wonderful stories of the past.
There is also a surge of young individuals with a keen interest in work-experience opportunities within the Greenhow Museum at the Ranch.
MacIntosh says this is key to keeping the Ranch’s doors open, there is a constant need for more volunteers and young people as programs improve and grow.
“Our volunteers are incredible. They wave to the crowds while dressed in period costumes walking in parades in 30 degree heat, or lift kids up to meet our draft horses up close and personal after a sleigh ride at -15 degrees. It’s heartwarming and a privilege to work alongside these amazing people.”
The Ranch would like to invite new and returning volunteers to attend a Volunteer Orientation and Meet and Greet on Saturday, April 21st from 10:00am – 11:30am.
Information will be provided on volunteer opportunities available, everything from gardening and animal care to bilingual interpretive tours and archival documentation.
Anyone interested in attending is asked to notify the Ranch in advance at 250-542-7868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The general public can also receive monthly email correspondence or sign up on the O’Keefe Ranch Volunteers group on Facebook to stay connected.
The first work bee of the season will take place on Sunday, April 15, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Anyone interested is asked to just show up, bring a rake and wear gumboots and help get the grounds prepped.
The O’Keefe Ranch is currently closed for the season will re-open to the public on May 13, 2018.