Follow us on FacebookFollow us on TumblrFollow us on LinkedInFollow us on TwitterFollow us on Instagram

Click here to submit your nominations for Tim Hortons Volunteers of the Week

Mikenzie Batke nominated by HIV North Society

Mikenzie Batke nominated by HIV North Society

On an uncommonly warm & windy February afternoon in Grande Prairie, Mikenzie Batke started her volunteer shift at the HIV North office, where she helps the organization three days a week. Hoping for a future career in social work, Mikenzie started volunteering with HIV North after a nursing student suggested to her that volunteering with HIV North might be a good opportunity for her. During an online search Mikenzie discovered a volunteer posting on http://gpvsb.volunteergrandeprairie.com that the non-profit was looking for Harm Reduction Specialist volunteers and quickly contacted the agency.

After the initial training and the surprise of learning about all the services HIV North provides to the community. Mikenzie helps the organization with interacting with clients, organizing & distributing supplies to clients, and assembling harm reduction kits.  She also helps with taking care packages to organizations, like the St. Lawrence Centre, and general admin duties like answering the phone.  She hopes to start doing more interaction with clients on community walks and doing needle sweeps in the future.  It’s obvious talking with Mikenzie that she really enjoys her time with the HIV North team stating that the agency is a very open and inclusive place. Her work has confirmed her interest in becoming a social worker, which makes her mother beyond happy that she has found something she enjoys so much.  In fact her positive experiences with HIV North have her friends wanting to volunteer with the organization when a new opportunity becomes available. Mikenzie encourages people interested in volunteering to do so, just look for opportunities in areas that interest them as it can be very rewarding helping others and educational.

HIV North team member Cindy Belcourt stated “Mikenzie’s efforts volunteering for HIV North has been a great help for the team.   Her cheery and bright disposition lightens up the room and her kindness towards others doesn’t go unnoticed.  Her dedication and commitment to volunteerism is outstanding.” Cindy was also surprised to learn Mikenzie volunteered at other organization in the community she spends time with a resident at Mackenzie Place, Helps AHS Clients recover missing ID with the Alberta Health Services ID Program and walks in-training service dogs for Hope Heels, with hopes of fostering a puppy in the future if her Dad will let her have a dog in the house.

The Grande Prairie Volunteer Services Bureau would like to thank Mikenzie Batke for her work with HIV North, helping our community with her many other volunteer activities and being ‘Caught in the Act’ of volunteering. For more information about HIV North Society visit their website at http://www.hivnorth.org.  If your interested in finding a volunteer opprotunity visit http://gpvsb.volunteergrandeprairie.com and create a free profile.

The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie Nominated by Marilyn Woloszyn


Last year in Grande Prairie, 1540 knitted items which included hats, scarves, mittens, blankets, and more were donated to charities like Rotary House, Coats for Kids, Elder’s Caring Shelter and 7 other organizations by one hard working group.  The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie knit away and socialize for a few hours once a week at the Heritage Lodge. Compromised of mostly retired ladies the Stitch Club started in 2001 as a way to past the time and make new acquaintances. Realizing the amount of items produced and, according to some members, being told by family and loved ones they had enough knitted socks to last a lifetime the group decided to start donating to 10 local non-profit agencies that distribute the items to those in need.

The Stitch Club members enjoy their time knitting and chatting with one another.  The shared hobby has led to long term friendships among the group and has helped the individuals as well.  Knitting actually has many health benefits it helps improve anxiety, stress and depression, slows cognitive decline, helps prevent arthritis and more. The ladies take great pride in their work and continue to help the community with their crocheted creations.

Read more: Caught in the Act: The Stitch Club of Grande Prairie

Mick Bayko Nominated by Scouts Canada

Mick CIA

On a warm mid-March evening, at the Elks Lodge, the GPVSB surprised our latest Caught in the Act nominee Mick Bayko, while he was preparing for his Scouts Group meeting.  Nominated by Scouts Canada Mick volunteers as the organization’s Group Commissioner of the 3rd Grande Prairie Scout Group.

Mick started his scout volunteering as an Assistant Beaver Scout Leader when his son joined their local group.  Spending time with his son, enjoying the great outdoors and helping other youths, Mick moved on to become a Cub Leader for 3 years then a Scout Leader for 1.  Now Mick is currently in his 2nd year as Group Commissioner were he supervises the group’s weekly events, activities, meetings and quality programs, ensuring a safe environment for 72 youths in the group and providing support to section leaders.  While working a full time job, taking care of his family, and volunteering at the Wapiti Nordic Centre’s Mountain Bike and Biathlon programs, Bayko still manages to be a fulltime Scout.  Mick states he wouldn’t know what to do with his free time if he wasn’t volunteering.  “Being part of Scouts is very rewarding not only do you get to share your knowledge with the younger generation but you have the opportunity to learn new things as well” states Mick.  As local interest in Scouting grows Mick hopes more volunteers will join Scouts as there is a waiting list of kids wanting to sign up with the group.  

Read more: Caught in the Act: Mick Bayko


Hi there! Want me to show you where to get volunteering right away?


Sign up as a Volunteer, Click Here  to go to Our Volunteer Registration Page!