Volunteering is a powerful experience.
Give a little time; get a whole lot out of it. You can learn so much by serving the world around you, and you can quite literally find yourself in this maze of a world that labels us. I’ve made so many amazing connections, and met such inspirational people along the way that it continues to astound me every single day. Our life should not be focused on merely our cotton candy dreams and our ambitions; we need to open our eyes, and realize that there is so much more around us, that we are a part of something bigger. Only when we take a little bit of time out of our demanding and convoluted lives, observe the suffering around us, or the magical smiles, our life becomes worth living. Each time we notice a young boy on the street begging for food, or that blind man whose family has abandoned him in the hospital, we become more human, and this sympathy that arises in both you and I pushes us to live for others. So, grant someone a wish and you’ll be unbelievably happy because they’re happy.
With that being said, I’ve come up with a number of organizations that I’d personally like to get involved in, or already am a part of. Keep in mind that all of these are what I am fervent about, and you may not necessarily be interested in them. Follow your passions, and make a difference.
- Foothills Hospital has taught me quite a bit about gratitude, as well as caring for everyone and anyone. I’ve been a way finder for about a year now, and it is definitely much more than showing someone the way to the ICU pods or to the Tom Baker Cancer Center. Everyone has their own story, especially the patients and their relatives. You get to be there for someone during a difficult time, listening emphatically. People have been through so much that it teaches you to be thankful for your life, for every single body part that you have. Take a minute to imagine what your life would be like as a leukemia patient stuck within the confining walls of a hospital building.
Camp Bonaventure is a day camp for children of varying ages with disabilities. It was bit of a car ride for me, located in the South, but this experience was the best teacher I’ve ever had, showing me a variety of lessons from leadership to hope. You assist someone in realizing that there are no such things as disabilities, that there is more to them, and that they can grow their potential through horseback riding, swimming, wall climbing, and sailing. If you’re active, enjoy having fun and don’t get easily frustrated, this is great for you. Be the reason that someone smiles, and spends their entire life smiling!
- The last one that I’m going to elaborate on is Youth Are Awesome, a remarkable Youth Central committee. If writing is anything but a chore to you that you’re forced to do in English class, and you’ve got a lot on your plate during the upcoming school year, sign up! I’m referring to all you Grade 12 IB students. You get your voice heard, while improving your writing skills. Share your experiences, and challenge others to try something new.
- Community Works
- Canadian Diabetes Association
- Telus Sparks & Glenbow Museum
- The Drop-in Center
- Mayor’s Youth Council
- Alberta Children’s Hospital
- Canadian Cancer Society
Reconsider the reason you volunteer. Is it to build a life, or a university application? Youth Central works to provide these volunteer opportunities and many more throughout Calgary. Check out the website to register as a volunteer!