Past and present Katimavik volunteers on P.E.I. aren't ready to give up on the program.

The youth service program has sent thousands of volunteers to work from coast-to-coast. The volunteers said they were shocked when the program was cancelled in March.

The federal government said the program was too expensive to continue the $15-million program, which breaks down to $28,000 per participant. But volunteers argue that every federal dollar spent translates into two dollars invested in the communities.

On Saturday, Katimavik supporters made posters, and signed a petition pleading with the federal government to reverse the decision.

They said it's a valuable opportunity to give to the community and it also transforms the youth involved.

"They find out what they want to do in terms of work," said Megan Burnside, who participated in the program. "A lot find out that they like volunteering and now they know how to contribute in their communities."

"It was important to me to have an opportunity to move back here and to engage with the community after having been away for a good number of years," said Josie Baker, a volunteer with the program.

Mitchell Tweel, a Charlottetown city councillor, said the loss of the program is also a hit to the community.

"I know first-hand the contribution that Katimavik has made over the years here in the city of Charlottetown, and particularly the community in which they reside in, because I represent that community at city hall."

The volunteers acknowledged it's likely too late to save the program, but they said it's still worth fighting for.