THE ADVOCATE 519
VOL. 78 PART 4 JULY 2020
clientele as more people face legal issues upon returning to work and, further,
as the eviction moratorium ends in the coming months.
Another example of action and collaboration across the community
comes from John Rice, president of TLABC, who called on his association’s
board members to commit to volunteering for APB, noting that “for many
British Columbians, COVID-19 has made their existing legal issues even
more of a nightmare, while for others it has introduced new issues as a result
of the pandemic and the impact on their lives”.24 Many board members have
heeded the call, with some joining APB for the first time in their careers.
Non-Profit Organizations and Charities
An endless need exists for individuals, non-profit organizations and charities.
Altruistic volunteerism is a boon for mental health as well as community
strength. Many organizations are encouraging people to support their
communities, even in small ways if they are unable to commit large
amounts of time. They can continue honouring our frontline workers,
donating to local food banks, donating blood or shopping at local
businesses.25 Volunteer team members for hands-on work are widely
needed, especially for some organizations that were previously supported
by members who are immune-compromised or part of the older population.
For example, seniors make up about half of the B.C. division of the Canadian
Cancer Society’s 100,000 member volunteer force.26
Each organization requires different levels of time commitment, and
now is an ideal time to consider volunteering for a community organization.
Many board meetings are taking place over Zoom, which increases
time efficiencies. Several of these organizations are in need of lawyers.
LaCroix states that lawyers play a key part in community organizations,
many of which would likely come to a halt without the support of lawyers.
He points out that the board of any major community organization will usually
have at least one lawyer.
Committing to a board or volunteering for an organization still needs to
be approached with caution. If you have a prior interest in a given organization,
you may want to begin there, but it is not always necessary to have
a connection beforehand. You can always start as a volunteer before joining
an organization’s board. Sara Forte, who is vice-president of Sources Community
Resources Society, noted that lawyers should do their due diligence
when joining a board or volunteering by researching the organization and
its board members to ensure that it will be the right fit and that the lawyer
will be able to add value.