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A Belief in Volunteering

by NationTalk on April 28, 20081816 Views

Press Release
April 28, 2008

Toronto, ON, April 28, 2008 – On the occasion of National Volunteer Week, the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) is pleased to recognize the commitment and dedication of the volunteers that contribute to its overall mission of building capacity in governance and economic development.“National Volunteer Week is a great opportunity for all Canadians to take action and celebrate the contributions of community volunteers and our tradition of community service,” said Bob Dickson, Vice President of CESO National Services.

In 2006, Heather Johnson (Barrie, ON) joined the roster of professionals volunteering with CESO. “I very much believe in volunteering. I liked that CESO was seeking out Aboriginal people as volunteers. I love working with people and CESO offered a great opportunity to meet people, empower each other and to learn from each other,” Heather reflected on how she came to join CESO. “I like the whole concept of empowerment. It is the answer to our future.”

Through CESO’s National Services Program, Heather has been involved as a workshop facilitator in Aboriginal communities and with Aboriginal organizations in Ontario.

Heather, an experienced facilitator and educator, recently delivered a two-day workshop in communications to Toronto COUNCIL FIRE Native Cultural Centre, a vibrant cultural agency that serves the Aboriginal community in Toronto and the GTA. The workshop was part of CESO’s national program entitled Aboriginal Women for Tomorrow (AWFT). The AWFT workshops promote leadership among Aboriginal women and provide participants with practical knowledge and the opportunity to develop skills for professional and personal success.

“The women at Council Fire were amazing. As part of the workshop they each delivered presentations. At first, the idea was terrifying for many but we worked through it and they all gave great presentations. It was inspiring to see the women speak with confidence and pride,” said Heather.

“Heather has also been a strong contributor and an integral part of the partnership created with the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres for the joint delivery of five Indian Residential School Support Workshops. Her involvement on behalf of CESO helped to establish a solid foundation for the continuation of good working relationship between the two organizations,” said Tom Meecham, CESO Regional Manager for Ontario.

Like many Aboriginal people, volunteering has been a thread in Heather’s life. For those looking to volunteer she says, “Do it! If you keep an open mind, a willingness to learn and most importantly respect others, you are up for an experience of a lifetime. For me volunteering is always a very humbling experience.”

CESO is a not-for-profit organization that helps build proud independent communities. Since 1967, CESO has linked its clients with professional Volunteer Advisers like Heather on over 40,000 projects in Canada and internationally. CESO’s services are defined by, and delivered at the request of individuals, businesses, communities and organizations. CESO National Services provides mentoring, advisory and training services to Aboriginal communities across Canada.

For more information about CESO, or how to join CESO as a Volunteer Adviser, contact or visit



Josie Marchese
Communications Manager
Tel: 416-961-2376 or 1-800-268-9052, extension 253

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