As you know, Harvest had to make some major adjustments to our annual music festival in 2020. Like many of our North American peers, we pivoted to a mostly virtual event, appropriately named Harvest 29.5. With the festival going digital, there was little to no chance to volunteer for the folks who work so hard every year, out of the kindness of their hearts, to make Harvest happen. For thirty years Harvest has prided itself on being a volunteer-run festival; without our amazing volunteers, there would be no festival!
In the absence of the festival, we encouraged our beloved volunteers to ‘pass on’ their volunteer hours to another organization, business or neighbour. The initiative was called Harvest Helps, and over 30 of Harvest’s finest volunteers participated. Each volunteer completed a minimum of 20 hours with some volunteers putting in over 100 hours of volunteer work. Volunteer work included everything from first aid to pitching in to help charitable organizations. However, all the volunteers share something in common: they wanted to improve their community, even during difficult times.
We sat down with Victoria Clarke, a seasoned volunteer, to chat with her about her experience. Victoria participated in Harvest Helps during the COVID-19 pandemic, conducting over 100 hours of volunteer work. Victoria was involved in raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Atlantic. During the pandemic, it is easy to feel secluded and isolated, removed from the rest of the community. Victoria notes how this was of concern for her and her team. Ultimately, they were able to connect and empathize, while still staying safe. She said they met the challenge and were motivated to do so because illness does not stop with the pandemic. This is a true testament to the fact that Victoria, as well as all the Harvest volunteers, are committed no matter the circumstances.
Victoria, amongst other volunteers, had high praise for Harvest 29.5 and the Harvest Helps initiative. They were happy that something positive could still come out of such an unprecedented year. With Harvest 2021 right around the corner, we’re looking forward to seeing some familiar volunteer faces, rolling up their sleeves to put on another great festival!