2024 National Volunteer Week Event

Every Moment Matters: A National Volunteer Week Event  

April 16th,1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT

Join us for our 2024 National Volunteer Week event! Let's recognize and celebrate every volunteer and each contribution they're making to strengthen inclusivity and well-being in our communities. Attend our online event on April 16th for a unique roundtable discussion where the CEOs from Food Banks Canada, United for Literacy and the Coaching Association of Canada connect with a volunteer from their network to discover why their moment matters. By connecting and engaging with community, we come to know our importance. Now more than ever, Every Moment Matters.  

Register now!


Meet our panelists:

Kirstin Beardsley, CEO of Food Banks Canada 

Kirstin Beardsley stepped into the role of Chief Executive Officer of Food Banks Canada on February 1, 2022. Prior to leading the network of over 4,700 food banks and community agencies, Kirstin was Food Banks Canada’s bilingual Chief Network Services Officer and was responsible for leading transformational change in the food banking system in Canada. With a strong and deep understanding of food insecurity in Canada, and of the work of the food banking network, Kirstin has provided leadership to the organization’s strategic plans and task forces over the past 8 years.  

In her role as Chief Network Services Officer, Kirstin led robust new system wide approaches to learning, government relations, advocacy, research, national funds distribution and a range of programs supporting the ten provincial organizations to improve the effectiveness of local food banks.  

Kirstin is from Ottawa, Ontario but now calls Toronto home. During her time away from work, Kirstin enjoys spending time with her family. Kirstin is passionate about working towards the Food Banks Canada vision of a Canada where no one goes hungry and is just as passionate about the incredible people in food banking who are making a difference every day in the lives of so many.

Dee Dee Holland, Food Banks for Canada Volunteer

Upon retirement from her 35-year career with Service Canada in 2012, Dee Dee Holland decided to offer her time to the Hampton Food Basket. Recognizing that she possessed skills beneficial to the organization, Dee Dee was motivated by a desire to aid those in need. 

In 2014, she assumed the role of recording secretary within the Board of Directors Executive. Collaborating with a colleague in 2016, Dee Dee contributed to the development of the organization's By-laws. Subsequently, she was elected as the Chair of the Board, serving in that capacity for a period of 4 years. 

Operating entirely through volunteer efforts, the Hampton Food Basket boasts a roster of 82 active volunteers. Dee Dee maintains an excellent relationship with the 180 families served by the organization. 

Embracing the ethos that volunteers possess hands that serve and hearts that care, Dee Dee takes pride in her role within the organization. 



Mélanie Valcin, President and CEO of United for Literacy 

Mélanie received a Masters degree in International and Community Development from the University of Toronto. She has been working in the areas of social innovation, youth mobilization and community development for the past 20 years. Prior to joining United for Literacy (formerly Frontier College), a Canada wide literacy organization supporting communities coast to coast, to coast, Mélanie worked for the Canadian Red Cross, coordinated international exchange programs with Monash University in Australia and served for the United Nations Development Fund for Women in Mexico City. 

Mélanie currently sits on the Board of Directors of Le Devoir, a prominent daily newspaper as well as on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Children and Youth. She also volunteers with Groupe 3737, an incubator for entrepreneurs from minority groups. In 2022, Mélanie was named Black Changemaker by the CBC. She is also a member of Montreal's Groupe des Trente, which aims at promoting diversity in governance. 

One thing Mélanie knows for sure: Literacy. Changes. Everything.

Jackie Garcia-Navidad, United for Literacy Volunteer

Jackie Garcia-Navidad is a dedicated educator with a passion for creating learning opportunities and empowering others. She began her journey with Frontier College, now United for Literacy in 2016 while completing a BA at l’Université du Québec à Montréal as a Homework Club volunteer, quickly establishing herself as a pivotal figure within the organization. 

Jackie's tireless efforts and dedication make her a true superstar within United for Literacy, embodying the organization's mission of promoting equal opportunities and lifelong learning for all. In 2022, Jackie received the United for Literacy Joyce Matthews Award in recognition of her outstanding commitment. 




Lorraine Lafrenière, CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada

Currently the CEO of the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC), Lorraine Lafrenière’s career spans more than 30 years within the national sport system, including roles as CEO of Canoe Kayak Canada and Cycling Canada.  Lorraine was also COO of the CAC previously and has held roles with the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Committees as well as with Olympic and Paralympic sponsors and media consortiums. 

Along with her passion for sport, Lorraine’s commitment to volunteerism has been consistently demonstrated throughout her career. She has served on boards or committees with many not-for-profits, including Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Cancer Society (Ottawa-Carleton), Run for the Cure, Big Sisters of Ottawa, and Ottawa-Carleton Epilepsy.  She was also the co-chair of the 2004 Ontario Summer Games held in Ottawa.  Lorraine is the mother of two and a proud cancer survivor.  

Fabienne Blizzard, the Coaching Association of Canada Volunteer 

Fabienne Blizzard is a dynamic force in both the world of basketball and community service. Graduating from the University of Ottawa with degrees in Political Science and Information Management Systems, she effortlessly transitioned from being a standout athlete on the basketball court to becoming a beacon of volunteerism and mentorship. 

Fabienne's passion for volunteerism extends beyond basketball. She actively engages in initiatives such as the Senegal SEED Forum, inspiring young people to give back through their passions. Through her tireless dedication, Fabienne continues to make a profound impact, instilling values of teamwork, leadership, and community service in the next generation. 



Hosted by:

Cathy Taylor, President and CEO of the Lawson Foundation

Cathy is the President and CEO of the Lawson Foundation. She has worked in the nonprofit sector throughout her career, with key roles as the founding Executive Director of both the Volunteer Centre of Guelph/Wellington and the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN). She has served on various committees, task forces and boards including as a board member and Chair of Volunteer Canada. She lives near Erin, Ontario.

Register now!