Sunday, June 24, 2012


Now, this message isn't coming from anywhere but myself and judging by the name of the blog post, I think we all know what I am about to dive into - volunteering!  Something I have touched base on a few times, but never really dived into.  The truth is, I never really thought of volunteering as a big deal - I mean I did it, but I didn't really think about why I decided to volunteer in the first place.   I guess we all volunteer for different reasons and if you pick the 'wrong' place to volunteer you're going to know you're volunteering whereas, if you choose a place that you love, you'll never know the difference!

When I was younger I didn't do much volunteering till about grade nine when it was forced upon us in the Ontario curriculum - forty hours I believe was needed to graduate high school.  It was then I decided I was going to volunteer at the Wayne Gretzky Centre (way to be a Brantfordian!)   I volunteered as an assistant swimming instructor and it was  A LOT of fun!  I was able to feel like I had some kind of status at 14 years old and truthfully I didn't care that I wasn't getting paid.

I exceded my required hours in the first year and while other students were scrambling for more hours before the graduation date, I had already tackled them all in grade 9 (Good advice to give to those starting high school soon!)   After that, I didn't do too much volunteering until I was diagnosed with type 1.  I don't know where it came from, I guess a little flashback of how much I enjoyed volunteering in high-school - either way I began getting involved with the diabetes groups around my area and from then on, I haven't stopped wanting to be apart of the volunteer experience.

The truth is, volunteering allows you to try out things that you wouldn't normally be able to do. If you want to be a teacher - volunteering allows you to get inside a classroom as a high school student. If you want to work with animals, you can volunteering at a local SPCA.  Any business or organizations is always happy and eager to take on volunteers - so why not find something you love and go for it.

Beyond the amazing fact that you can help the community, volunteering also allows you to help yourself. It allows you to grow, learn new things, meet new people, and see what you're good at.  We spend a good chunk of our lives working, so why not get a hold of something you love as a volunteer and grow into it and who knows - that could easily turn into a job.

There are so many volunteer opportunities out there, and after quickly googling it I found tons of opportunities that are awaiting right this second! So whatever your passion may be, animals, gardening, activism, working with youth - just go for it! Spend a couple hours of your time changing lives and most importantly, changing your life!


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