In celebration of the National Volunteer Week 2021, we want to express our sincere thank you to the 12.7 million Canadian volunteers for all you do for our community! We are also proud to share this inspiring article created by Megan Radford - a story of our CEO & Chairman Yuri Fulmer and his view on volunteerism.

This National Volunteer Week, which runs from April 18-24, the theme is “The Value of One, The Power of Many.” We asked our United Way Centraide Canada Board Chair, Yuri Fulmer, to reflect on what volunteerism has meant to him, and his time at United Way Centraide.

I got started in business completely accidentally. I was working at A&W when they decided to franchise their corporate locations, so I would have been part of a large departure from the company, or we were given the opportunity to buy a franchise location. I went home to the “Bank of My Mom” (and a real bank as well), scrounged together the money and bought a little food court A&W in New Westminister, BC. That was the beginning.

I’m blessed. I grew up in a comfortable middle-class family living a comfortable middle-class life. I’m a Caucasian man – I’m the picture of privilege. And I can remember the moment that I had a realization. I was driving to a meeting in the suburbs of Vancouver. Traffic was terrible, and I was late. I was listening to the radio and the story on there was that one in three school children in the suburb I was headed to goes to school without breakfast. So if you live in that community, and you feed your children breakfast, that means one of your neighbours is not able to. My idea of a bad day was sitting in my air-conditioned car, outraged that I was late for a meeting. Some kids’ idea of a normal day is going to school with no breakfast.

See the full article on the United Way Canada Centraide website here.