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New Canadian Initiative to Promote Corporate Volunteerism

(Oct. 10, 2005) Volunteer Canada and The Home Depot Canada have announced an initiative to work with corporations and businesses and encourage their employees to volunteer in their communities.

The Corporate Challenge on Volunteering, which kicked off on Sept. 27, has set of goal of 150,000 volunteer hours in its inaugural year.

The initiative's website will provide information and resources to show employers how to engage employees in volunteerism, how to select a community project and how to organize a volunteer event. It will also allow participating businesses to report their successes by tracking their volunteer hours and providing feedback on corporate volunteer initiatives.

Organizations interesting in participating can send an email to CorporateCouncil@volunteer.ca to register and state their commitment to next year's initiative.

Council to Guide Corporations

To complement the initiative, Volunteer Canada has established the Canadian Corporate Council on Volunteering, a collaboration of leaders in corporate volunteerism who will coordinate the program. Leaders from companies of all sizes will be invited to join the council to ensure that every level of Canada's business community is well represented.

'This type of employer-supported initiative has the power to transform our country,' says Volunteer Canada President Marlene Deboisbriand. 'Not only do communities benefit from the injection of volunteer energy into their organizations and services, but vigorous communities are conducive to strong business growth and development. It's a win-win situation and we invite all Canadian employers to get involved and be part of something significant.'

Volunteer Canada, headquartered in Ottawa, Ontario, is a national association of volunteer centres with members in all provinces and the Yukon Territories. Since 1977, Volunteer Canada has been committed to supporting volunteerism and civic participation through ongoing programs and special projects.

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot® is the world's largest home-improvement specialty retailer with fiscal 2004 sales of $73.1 billion. The company has 1,950 stores, including 125 stores across Canada, and employs approximately 325,000 associates, including more than 25,000 Canadians.

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