Retired teachers donate time

B.C.’s retired teachers continue to set a good example with extensive volunteer work all year round.

B.C.’s retired teachers continue to set a good example with extensive volunteer work all year round.

A survey of more than 1,000 retired teachers across the province reveals a deep commitment to volunteerism, which creates an economic benefit equivalent to $110 million, if the retirees’ time is calculated at a minimum wage of $10 per hour.

“Our study shows that retired teachers make a phenomenal contribution to the well-being and sustainability of communities across our province,” said JoAnn Lauber, chairwoman of the Retired Teachers’ Association volunteerism committee. “We were amazed to learn the huge value of the work done by teacher volunteers, and the wide range of activities in which they’re involved.”

She said the study found that retired teachers in B.C. devote an average of 31 hours per month to volunteer work: more than double the amount of time contributed by Canadians described as “top volunteers” in a survey done by Statistics Canada in 2007.

With a focus on community organizations, care-giving, education, arts and culture, and health and hospitals, retired teachers provide important social and human services that touch the lives of children, teens, adults and seniors across the province.

“Throughout their working lives, teachers are dedicated to the children and youth in their communities, so it’s no surprise that their altruistic and compassionate spirit of involvement carries on in retirement,” said Susan Lambert, B.C. Teachers’ Federation president. “Because teachers tend to have such good people skills, they’re actively recruited by many organizations and they respond enthusiastically.”