Without my community, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Growing up in Burlington, I had many opportunities to volunteer and contribute. As a teenager, I was a member of a local youth group that focused on giving back to the broader community. I, along with my peers, spent time helping out at soup kitchens, volunteering at local events, fundraising for local charities, and supporting those friends and neighbours in need of a little assistance.
For me, the feeling of helping someone using my time, skills, experience, and talent, gave me a sense of accomplishment and the impact that I was able to make was incredible. Generally, the more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering increases self-confidence. Doing good deeds for others and the community provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.
Becoming a responsible citizen is only one reason you should get involved now.
In fact, the rewards young volunteers reap are often as great as the ones they give to others.
From my experiences, I was able to gain a wealth of personal stories, impactful contributions, and successes to add to my university and job applications. I won
numerous community awards and bursaries that helped me continue to focus on my studies– BUT the most important takeaway from the volunteer experiences I had in my youth was the network and connections that I had made over the years.
After university, I continued to give back to my community and helped where I could. I was able to rely on past experiences and connections once again to grow my network.
From there, when I began my own business, I honestly believe our successes came from the time and energy I had put into my community. As that saying goes, “you get out of things, what you put in.”
A few tips about volunteering:
Be realistic about the time commitment and opportunities available, do not over promise and under deliver.
Choose somewhere you are passionate about and work you enjoy.
Ask to meet/work with their boards, committees, and teams to grow your network.
Start small and grow your role.
ENJOY! Because at the end of the day, doing something you love and helping people be in a better place than before they met you is what it's all about.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”– Gandhi.
Check out more ways to volunteer @kimberlycalderbank on Instagram and Twitter.