Leap Year Gift, for Human-Kind!

Press Release
February 26, 2016

One Small Step, One Giant Leap… 

Society President Takes Three Month LOA for Community & Country, February 29thGift of Leap Day, web

CEDAR – As a gift, to celebrate the 150th birthday of Canada, the president of a small non-profit society plans to give something he values almost more than anything else, his time.

“This is the anniversary of our country’s founding, as well as a decade of great challenges throughout our society,” says Laurie Gourlay. “I wanted to be able to look back on my life and say that I tried to make a difference for the betterment of my community, as well as myself and my family.  And when I looked around I thought our country and the world could use a helping hand or two as well. ”

Gourlay notes that everyone, including businesses and the government, will get an extra days’ pay, profits or taxes this year – Leap Year. “If we think outside the box, outside ourselves for just one day every four years, then it’s pretty reasonable to consider giving an hour or two back to our communitees and our country.”

Canada’s 150 birthday, and the wish to leave a legacy that renews his heritage and community, has Laurie Gourlay taking a three-month leave of absence from his job. The President of the Vancouver Island and Conservation Society says he has to practice what he preaches, “and there’s no better time than the present to get started.”

Recently, VICCS has been calling for Canadians to give an hour or two on February 29th – an  extra day in 2016’s calendar, to community and charity organizations. VICCS believes this will substantially help with the good works these groups  do on behalf of all Canadians and the country. “Many hands make lighter work, and the more the merrier,” is Gourlay’s creed. “Volunteers are the heart and backbone of our society.”

“If ten percent of Canadians gave an hour in time or wages to non-profit groups that’s about a $52M boost to our economy,” says Gourlay, basing his calculations on a $15/hr wage x 3.6M Canadians. “Every hour gifted to charities and community groups, on any day of the year, will help get a lot of good work done for all of us.”

Gourlay is personally helping with a local 2017 Heritage project that’s just getting started in the rural communitees where he lives, as well as with a major ‘Island Conference’ planned on sustainability and sustainable development this September for Vancouver Island.

“Not everyone can afford to take a few months off their job like I’ll be doing,” says Gourlay. “I’m lucky enough to have the chance to give something back to the community where I live, as well as to help the Island and coast. But I’d love to have the company of more of my fellow Canadians.”

VICCS, with Gourlay’s support, has been writing the heads of government as well as encouraging charities and businesses to consider what can be accomplished when an extra day becomes available every four years on Leap Day. He thinks everyone should be encouraged to give a little time, or at least an hour of their wages on February 29th.

“February 29th doesn’t have to be just another day,” Gourlay states. “if you think outside the box a little this is a special day, a gift of time that offers itself for each of us to do something extra-special. We have a chance to give a bit of ourselves back to the communities and country where we live – to the places and people we get so much from every other day of the year.”


For more information:
Laurie Gourlay, President VICCS

Vancouver Island & Coast Conservation Society, Box 333, Cedar, B.C., V9X 1W1  (viccs@shaw.ca) www.viccs.vcn.bc.ca