Join us in Celebrating
Canada 150.

To celebrate Canada 150, ECVO has made it our mission to collect 150 unique Edmonton volunteer stories.

Contact Us to share your own volunteer story or use the hashtag #150yegvoices on Twitter. For local volunteer opportunities visit govolunteer.ca Click photos below to meet some local volunteers.

Lise

I volunteer in a number of different ways, but right now, I’m putting a lot of work into Global Fusion. There are givers and takers in the world – and sometimes we have to be the student and other times the teacher. By recognizing these facts, you can see that volunteering helps move communities forward. I consider volunteerism the most critical component of our humanity. Look at the effort put forth by volunteers during emergencies like the Fort McMurray fire. Volunteering helps build relationships, and that makes Canada a better place!

Ahmed

I volunteer wherever I can – it’s the best way to spread kindness and love. All of us are busy, but when you volunteer and you give you time others will care. That in itself will make our community better. At the end of the day, do you feel good? Volunteerism makes people feel good. It doesn’t matter how you volunteer either, with kids or adults, or if you pick up garbage, or help clean a park. Whether people know you did it or not, these types of things help make Canada and our community better!

Anita

I spend a lot of time volunteering with the local Laos community. I want to reconnect with my roots and associated culture. I wasn’t overly connected while growing up, so it’s been very rewarding learning about where I come from and some of that history. Our community is fairly small, only about one-thousand people, so sharing who we are is important to me. Volunteerism is the ultimate showcase of compassion and sharing in one’s community. It is hard work, but we do it for free, we don’t need the exchange – it’s something we do from our hearts for each other.

William

I’m a volunteer with the Global Fusion team! I do it for a number of reasons, but mainly because I want to be a writer! I feel one of the best ways to gain the knowledge needed to be a successful writer is to experience different people and cultures. It’s really valuable and rewarding. It was a difficult thing to do at first, I had to step out of my comfort zone, but it has been fantastic. I think Canada is better thanks to volunteers because, I feel, people genuinely want to help one another, and cultural arts is one, great, way for people to do that! We all are exposed to new, interesting, and exciting aspects of the world we live in.

Lydia

I am volunteering with Global Fusion. I’m really drawn to it because of our focus on youth showcasing their culture. As young people become more familiar with western culture there can be some detachment, so with that in mind, I feel volunteering for an event like this is very important. The youth of today get a bit of a bad rap, but they’re not lazy and disengaged. An event like this, with all the youth involved, is proof. Volunteering makes our community, and Canada, better because it empowers! Everybody likes to contribute and feel like the things he or she can do make a difference. Young people get to see the results of their efforts!

Amein

I volunteer for a couple of organizations because I feel it’s really important to give back to the community and to those that are less fortunate. It really brings happiness to my heart and I feel satisfied at the end of the day that my efforts help support others. Canada is one, big, diverse nation, and we should all help one another. I think that helps make Canada a better place. The more we all volunteer, the more we’ll mix together and learn about each other!

Robert

I’m a volunteer with Pilgrim’s Hospice, and I’m truly happy to share my story. I’ve been coming here for the past three-and-a-half years. I play guitar, sing and tell stories, and try to bring some joy to clients. It certainly brings me a great deal of joy! When I consider the value of volunteers in Canada I think back to being a youngster – I can’t recall all of those people who volunteered their time and services for events while I was growing up. It’s an absolute necessity – it provides harmony. You become less judgemental, helps you appreciate others, and to accept things as they are. One can take from the well, but one should also give back!

Bonnie D

I’ve been volunteering since I was 12! I was a candy striper at the hospital in my hometown. Since then I’ve known that I would continue helping people. I currently volunteer with Pilgrim’s Hospice. I also volunteer with the Christmas Bureau and for a number of track and field events. Volunteering is a very social part of my day. Helping people have a really good day is incredibly rewarding. When you volunteer, you are exposed to so many different cultures and so many different people that make Canada better. Volunteers welcome people to the community and that makes our nation stronger and better!

Roberta

I volunteer with Pilgrim’s Hospice with the day program and as a compassionate companion. I’ve also volunteered at The Mustard Seed and with my community league – I’ve always got something going on. Volunteering at Pilgrim’s is extremely rewarding. Clients come to get out for a bit, to get out of the house. Volunteers help make Canada better in a number of ways – they help provide services that might not, otherwise, be available, and I believe they serve as role models for caring and compassion. They help change the fabric of our society.

Joice

Right now, I volunteer with Pilgrim’s Hospice and Central Lion’s Recreation Centre. I get a lot out of volunteering: interact and socialize with others, it helps me feel like I’m part of a bigger community. Getting to know people makes Canada a better place and, when you volunteer, you get to meet a lot of different people. I meet many people from other cultures, we communicate and get comfortable together, and we develop relationships and friendships. If you’re a good listener, and if you care about people, you can do this role. It really becomes natural after a while.

Ahamed

I volunteer with Pilgrim’s Hospice. It’s difficult to explain why I do it, other than saying, it is a calling. It just popped into my head one day. I feel people who are near death, or who know their time is coming to an end, are much more honest. I’m new to volunteering here – I’ve been doing it for about 7 months now. Volunteerism, overall, makes communities, and Canada, better. If you walk dogs or if you work with the elderly – it’s a matter of how you’re built, how you’re wired. I came to Canada from Sri Lanka and felt like I wanted to prove myself. Ultimately – we are all the same, and helping is very fulfilling.

Jane

I’ve been volunteering as a compassionate companion at the Pilgrim’s Hospice for some time now. We spend time with people who are coping with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses. I get so much out of giving of myself: it’s a privilege to be permitted to be part of someone’s life when that person knows his or her time is limited. Volunteering is important – if everybody gave just a bit, the world would be a better place. When thinking about volunteerism in Canada I like to refer to a quote from the Dalai Lama – “Love and compassion are necessities, they’re not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Volunteering makes our community, our city, and our country better!

Alyssa

As a member of the Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team, I have the opportunity to volunteer with a variety of organizations within the community: Tim Hortons Camp Day and The Run Wild Marathon supporting the Zebra Centre. We also have the opportunity to volunteer with the Stollery Children’s Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House and the Kids With Cancer Society. Volunteering is a way for me to give back to the organizations that do so much for our community. Knowing I can have a positive impact on our community by volunteering is extremely fulfilling. Volunteering makes Canada a better place by bringing people together and building stronger communities. The sense of community is one of the many things that make Canada great.

Prem

I’m a member of a number of local volunteer organizations. I do it to keep busy, especially doing things that benefit other people and the community as a whole. It brings me a lot of joy – it’s a two-way process: I help others, but I also learn a great deal from those I’m helping. It gives a great deal of satisfaction. When people are happy, communities are stronger, and – in turn – our nation is stronger. I see this whenever I volunteer or travel overseas. It helps internationally and domestically.

Maggie

I give back by being active in my community, volunteering, and looking for ways to make a difference. Instead of just talking about change, I like to get out there and working on it! I volunteer because I believe you need to get involved in order to facilitate change. If you don’t participate, you can’t make a difference. Show your talents, share them, and put them to work. Volunteering makes Canada better through the accumulation of the efforts put forth by all of those out there giving of themselves! Stronger communities lead to a stronger nation.

Yin

I give back and volunteer by helping low-income families prepare their taxes. It’s something I started while in university, it’s obviously a free service – so we try to help people save time and money. As an immigrant, volunteering is great for me: I was able to learn more about the tax laws; it was also a fantastic opportunity to take what I already know and share it. It is a win-win for me. I get a lot of pleasure from helping others, especially helping with a complex issue like taxes. I learn new things and gain new insight to Canada. It feels great. I can share my experience with Edmontonians and Canadians alike!

Keryn

I volunteer and help out wherever I can throughout the city. It helps me develop social skills, gives me some quality work experience and I learn more about our entire community. Volunteering brings people together. We work on similar projects and spend time at the same events; it’s these types of things that help make Canada a better place – bringing people together in the community!

Yakira

I give back by volunteering and getting involved in activities around the city. I started doing it when looking at applying for University: I wanted to learn more about the community, work on my English and social skills. It’s a great way to meet people and make friends. Volunteering makes Canada better by bringing people together to contribute to the society we live in!

Mahlon

I try to do as much volunteering as I can. I’m a Shriner, so I volunteer there, and I’ve been volunteering with Edmonton Northlands for 45 years! I like people and it’s an opportunity to give back to the community and work with like-minded individuals. I like doing things, being busy. If sitting in front of the t.v is your thing, that’s fine, but it’s not my style. I need to be out there doing things and helping. Canada is such a rich mosaic, and volunteering enhances that richness: it gets people involved in organizations that make our community and country even better!

Orest

I’ve been volunteering with Habitat For Humanity for 25 years now. I’ve always liked knowing where my efforts or dollars are going. It serves a great purpose in the community; about 10 percent of the population just wouldn’t be able to afford their own home without Habitat. My role as crew leader has me working here in the city, but it’s also taken me all over the world – working with Habitat organizations throughout Central America and the Caribbean. These projects, domestically and internationally, can prove life-altering for people. It’s humbling. Volunteering not only improves Canada, but it can benefit the entire world, really!

Paul, Jada, Brennin

We volunteer with Santa’s Anonymous. It’s something we’ve done for years – Brennin (not pictured), Jada and myself. The joy you see people’s faces when you deliver gifts they, otherwise, may not have received. As a family, we’ve been doing it for about 14 years – not just delivery days either, we do wrapping, dispatching and even sit on the board – not the kids mind you! Volunteerism can be very educational as well, we learn about volunteer organizations and non-governmental organizations. Volunteering is part of the fabric of our country. We’re going to keep working with Santa’s! When people work together to strengthen communities, it makes Canada even better!

Wing

I volunteer with multiple organizations, including my former school. I feel it’s important to help those in need, those who can’t always do certain things on their own. I also love meeting people, I’m very social, and volunteering gives me the opportunity to go out into the community and expand my horizons. As for volunteering and the Canadian aspect – it really enhances our international reputation. One that is strong already! I’m very proud of the volunteer spirit we share.

Summer

*Translated from – “Woof. Woof woof woof. Wooooof!”

Summer’s been volunteering for about 8 months now, she gives back by being a service dog for someone in the community. She’ll be ready by the age of two and will be able to significantly increase mobility and independence of whoever she ends up assisting. She’s quite a people person, she helps educate and inform Edmontonians about her role as a service dog. She’s learning that volunteering is truly Canadian, through her experiences with everyone she meets, and informs about her role!

Grant, Nanci and Dawn

We give back by volunteering with Habitat For Humanity, as well as a few other organizations. There is a social angle to volunteering that we all really like, however, we’ve all discussed in the past – the level of satisfaction we get from helping out in our community. We meet new people, learn about different perspectives, and develop an appreciation for how fortunate we are. It feels right to give back. The spirit of volunteerism binds Canada together. We are a diverse, multicultural nation and volunteering proves very educational.

Ralph

I’m part of the transportation group for this Habitat For Humanity project; I’m one of the shuttle drivers. Edmonton has such a great reputation for volunteering – all over the world. I’ve met people from across the country and around the globe who are amazed at the volunteer effort we put forth. Canadian volunteers are looked upon so favourably – we’re always considered so friendly, and it’s true. I hope that the effort we put in for projects like this inspires current citizens and those who are just coming to Canada.

Chris and Kelly

Kelly – I volunteer because it’s interesting. Not only that, I’m a teacher in the inner city and seeing how projects like Habitat For Humanity can help, the families I see daily, is very fulfilling.

Chris – It’s also a lot of fun! I like to get my hands dirty, and doing it for a good cause is humbling. I also volunteer with the Children’s Make-A-Wish Foundation and this feels like a natural extension.

Chris and Kelly – Volunteering makes our community stronger! As for how it makes Canada better – we are a mosaic of cultures throughout the city, region, and country and, hopefully, volunteering helps bring all of us together!

 

 

Andrea

I give back in a number of ways: over the past 14 years, I have volunteered with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, and a number of other organizations – the Bissell Centre, I frequent area Farmer’s Markets, and I give blood regularly. I started volunteering after moving back to the city and realizing I wasn’t as familiar with our community as I thought. Now I do it to align with my interests and hobbies, meet friends and to give back to the community. Canada is better thanks to volunteers who help develop a sense of camaraderie and community. Festivals are great places to volunteer – everyone comes together to accomplish a common goal – it’s quite fulfilling!

Yekta

I volunteer and give back as often as I can a nonprofit or at school. I feel that once you’ve done it, you can continue doing it and carry on with the understanding of how relevant it is. We are all people, we live in a small world, and once someone makes the first move – anything is possible. I get a sense of accomplishment from it, as well as a sense of altruism – helping others feels good! Volunteers make Canada a better place by continuing to offer their time. It all adds up and that improves communities across the country.

Fenal

I give back to my community by volunteering with a number of organizations: to eliminate global poverty and to feed the less fortunate are a couple of ways. I feel that giving back empowers me. I appreciate the respect and satisfaction I get from it. Volunteering has helped me grow as an individual. I am more confident, I relate to others better, and I’m making more friends! Volunteering makes Canada a better place by helping us all look out for one another, and lending a helping hand when you see it is required!

Haidong

I give back to Edmonton whenever I can – financially or with my time. I volunteer as a board member for Community Options, an organization that serves low-income families. Nobody wants to see children and families suffer in poverty, so that’s why I do it. By volunteering, you can really give, instead of receive, and it is quite fulfilling. Canada is a better place thanks to the volunteers who make a difference. There are a number of programs and projects out there that likely wouldn’t exist without the effort put forth by volunteers!

Vicky

I try to make a difference in the nonprofit sector, or in any other way that I can – if someone needs help, I try to find a way to offer it. I have been very fortunate in life, so I feel as though I should give back to those who might not have had the same advantages. I wanted to give back. I’ve been an active volunteer for almost 30 years and am extremely happy. Volunteering definitely makes Canada a better place, if people pull together, help, and make an effort – it improves the lives of everyone!

Susan

I give back to Edmonton in a number of ways. I volunteer with the Edmonton Folk Music Festival, where I assist people with mobility issues. When you help someone enrich his or her experience, it really feels great. My parents were volunteers, and they instilled in me the importance of it. Without volunteers, a number of things that make Edmonton great wouldn’t occur. I’m humbled by their dedication, it helps with social connections, and improves my life – I’m happy and healthy. Volunteerism improves Canada in so many ways: it builds communities, improves communities, and the spirit of volunteering brings us all together.

Craig

Volunteering, for the past 10 years, as a coach for the Edmonton Amateur Baseball Association has been rewarding for me in many different ways. Having been involved in minor sports the majority of my life, as a player and as a coach, I found the transition to coaching a natural progression. It can be a huge time commitment to make to be a volunteer in any sport or activity. Coaching is more than just about teaching skills of a sport, it’s also teaching the life skills. We need our youth to follow in our steps with their desire to volunteer, no matter what they choose as their cause – this is what makes Canada a better place.

Melanie

I’ve been volunteering with Catholic Social Services for the last two years. I lead conversation circles for newcomers to Edmonton at the public library. It’s a fantastic program, I get to meet people from all over the world, and I love helping others. My volunteer time is often the best part of my week! Volunteerism is the root of communities, it’s how we help people feel as though they belong, and those are a couple of the reasons why I think volunteering makes Canada a better place.

Monica

I volunteer with The Red Shoe Society. We help raise funds through various events. It keeps me busy and active in my community. I’m not from Edmonton, and volunteering has always been a great way to meet people. I value family and community, and volunteering is a perfect fit. It enriches my life by keeping me active; it helps show my children the importance of community and helping others. I think volunteerism makes Canada a better place by showcasing the extensive efforts put forth by the entire volunteer community. To let others know that there are people out there who can help.

Bryce

I’ve been very fortunate and I’ve benefitted from a number of positives in my life, and not everyone can say the same. That’s one of the main reasons I volunteer! “Dance Without Limits” is one of the organizations I help with. We help children with physical disabilities learn to dance, play games with others and properly stretch; things that aren’t always available to them through standard dance studios or programs. Volunteering brings like-minded people together and I’ve made life-long friends. Volunteerism makes Canada a better place, it sets an example for others, and it provides manpower that otherwise might not be available.

Daniela

I work in the nonprofit sector, but I volunteer in my free time as well. I have extensive experience in the arts. Right now I’m volunteering with the University of Alberta working with its special collections. I sort antiquities, work with kids and encourage them to explore post-secondary education and the arts. I love meeting people, and volunteering is the best way for me to do that! Volunteering helps communities become resilient, engaged, and connected. Without those things – there can’t be a community.

Janet

I volunteer at the Hope Mission once a week during breakfast shift – serving everybody! The clients there need to eat, and I feel like volunteering my time is better value than just throwing money at the problem. I know it’s not a fix for the problem, but it helps! Volunteering provides me with a certain sense of satisfaction – doing for others without asking anything in return. Canada is better thanks to the volunteer community; you meet like-minded people and get out in the community, helping with issues that society deals with.

Sara

I enjoy working with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, as well as a few other organizations. Helping others, and giving back to my community are really rewarding activities. If I can help one person by raising awareness or funds – it’s worth it. Volunteering helps me feel better about myself by helping out those in need live longer, or live better. I feel, here in Canada, volunteering and giving of one’s self really helps put things in perspective. We can get a chance at seeing how those who may be less fortunate deal with challenges in life. It can really help you appreciate what you’ve got.

Amanda

I work in the nonprofit sector so I interact and engage with volunteers every day. I’ve been volunteering since I was quite young; I started helping out in my hometown hospital. I love the personal connections, the support for the community and the impact you can have on a person’s life. I get as much, if not more, out of volunteering as those I help. Seeing a smile when you’ve helped someone do something he or she might not have been able to do otherwise is really rewarding. It makes you feel really good at the end of the day. Volunteering makes Canada better by bringing people together and seeing the difference we make when that happens!

Melody and Brian

We volunteer, and give back to Edmonton, with our church. We’ve been doing it for about four years now. We build relationships and meet new people, and learn different perspectives. With the chapel being in West Edmonton Mall, we meet people from all over the world, we also both have retail experience so we can relate to staff or visitors. Volunteering improves our lives by exposing us to other cultures and ethnicities. We learn so much doing this here. Volunteerism provides an opportunity to give something of yourself. We all have something to give and, hopefully, it leads to a greater understanding of one another.

Amy

I give back to Edmonton because I think it’s very important to strengthen communities – not just for those in need, but for everyone, everybody can play a strong part in the community. I do it because I’m new to the city; it’s a great way to meet people, learn about what’s happening in and around the city and to keep in touch. Volunteerism helps people feel good, feel positive about what they do. Canada is such a giving nation; the effort from volunteers is very passionate. Recognizing volunteers as we celebrate the nation’s 150th anniversary is a fantastic way to honour the country!

Michael

I volunteer regularly. I love giving back to my community – I think it’s important and meaningful. I’m kind of fond of the city as well! Volunteering improves my life by helping me understand people, it also helps showcase everything the city has to offer – festivals, community events, and things like that, it’s very fulfilling. I think volunteering improves Canada by helping others; it’s also part of our history, our tradition. When Europeans first arrived in this place, they likely wouldn’t have survived without the help of others – namely the indigenous community that was here long before us. So it’s something that is at the very base of what Canada is.

Jennifer

I give back to Edmonton by volunteering with a pet cancer charity, the Alberta Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society, which helps subsidize cancer treatment for pets. I love people and I love animals, it makes giving back very easy. It creates amazing connections and I get to meet so many great people through the program. Volunteering opens up the community, you get to serve others as opposed to being self-serving. It’s the pay-it-forward philosophy – help one person and hopefully, they’ll do the same for someone else!

Kaitlyn

I give back by helping sure everyone in our community has equal access to better life. To make sure everybody is provided for! I volunteer with a number of organizations: recently I work with the underprivileged, as well as a group that helps feed those who are hungry or in need. I volunteer because it fosters community, improves oneself, and provides a number of services that aren’t provided by government. Canada is a diverse and strong nation – we can embrace our differences. Community is the strength of a nation and we grow as communities by understanding our differences.

Gauri

I’ve learned a lot during my time with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta. I volunteer at hospitals, seniors’ homes and various temples throughout Edmonton. I find myself making a difference in people’s lives while also taking on responsibilities that are completely new to me! I’ve developed confidence, patience, problem-solving skills, and the ability to relate to others – making me a better person. Canada accepts and values people from every race, religion, culture, and gender. As an immigrant to Canada, I feel I have a responsibility to give back to the community that has so graciously accepted my family and me. Through my involvement in the community, I am helping build a better and stronger Canada.

Tammy

I could be helping with anything; it really does depend on the time of year. Caroling at the Grey Nuns Hospital in the winter, or helping with Girl Guides other times of the year! I’ve been associated with the Girl Guides for most of life, so that decision is easy. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn new things. The world is always changing, and I feel the best way to influence those changes is to volunteer and get involved. Volunteering brings people together and puts ideas into motion. It helps you meet different kinds of people and make lifelong friendships. Edmonton and Canada will benefit because volunteerism makes everyone’s life better.

Doug

I volunteer with the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society. I used to work in the transport industry and, on occasion, saw the effects of unsafe driving practices: car, truck or motorbike. A friend and I started discussing the need for such an organization a few years ago. It’s funny, being this involved in the society has shown me that I wasn’t nearly as safe on my bike as I thought I was. Over the years, I’ve been involved in many other volunteer groups – I don’t look for anything in return, it’s really satisfying and fulfilling. If, as Canadians, we give just a bit of our time we can improve someone’s life.

Eric

I volunteer with Drive Happiness – we get people to and from appointments who, otherwise, may not be able to get to them. It’s the good thing to do. Not only is it the right thing to do, but I love driving! My car, my bike, anything – and to be able to get out and help people while doing it, instead of just staying home during my free time, is very rewarding. I think the volunteer spirit we exhibit in Canada says a lot about who we are! I don’t do it for any financial reasons, obviously, I was raised to be a good person and hopefully, it shows!

Angie

I help out wherever I can. Without volunteers most nonprofit organizations wouldn’t exist – they’re the most valuable asset a nonprofit can have. We do it for, nothing – maybe a t-shirt. There are so many festivals and events in the city that likely wouldn’t take place without volunteers. I do it because of the sense of accomplishment, you feel good about yourself, about doing something good for someone else. Canada is the best place in the world! The friendliest, the nicest! I believe we’re the volunteer capital of the world. We always step up!

Randy

I volunteer at a number of festivals: The Works, The Deep Freeze, and StreetFest. These events bring communities together and I like being a part of that. I meet many new people and get to help to solicit donations. Volunteering makes my life better by helping improve my social and interpersonal skills. I love Edmonton and everything about it. Volunteerism helps make Canada a better place by bringing people together, introducing people to one another and helping showcase the skills people from all walks of life have to offer and share.

Sirous

The Heart and Stroke Foundation does such important work in the community. This city, our community, has given me so much; I felt the need to give something back. By encouraging healthy diets and eating, proper physical fitness and healthy lifestyles overall, the Foundation betters the lives of all involved. What motivates me to volunteer is the positive influence I have on those seeking our assistance. I’m also a student and I know future employers will look at my volunteer work as beneficial to their organization. Whether it’s helping fire victims from Slave Lake or Fort McMurray, or aiding new Canadians – volunteering is an important aspect of our national identity.

Fahima

I believe time is the most precious gift a person can give. That’s why I like volunteering so much! I bounce between a few organizations, but I spend much of my time with Canadian Blood Services. I feel as though I’ve given back to my community, regardless of how much or how little I can offer on any given day. As a multicultural nation, we are known for our humanitarian efforts and that is only made possible by the individuals behind these efforts, Canadians like us. We can have a significant impact on social movements and groups. We are so connected through the web yet so disconnected in reality; I believe volunteering helps, both, the cause and oneself.

Alireza

I’ve lived here for the past few years. Edmonton is an amazing, incredible city and I wanted to give back to the community. I feel physical and mental health are extremely important, so I decided to get involved with the Heart and Stroke Foundation. My father taught me to always give back to your community; he said it was a crime not to! Volunteering gives the public a sense of responsibility and selflessness. That good things and deeds are not always associated with financial reward and that helping make society a better place is the best kind of reward. It makes us better as people that look out for each other; it makes Canada a family.

Dan

I sit on the City of Edmonton’s Historical Board – we work to preserve the city’s historical buildings. I think it helps provide Edmontonians with a shared sense of our past and where we can go in the future. They’re extraordinary legacy features as well! Volunteering with this group is incredible. People are really interested in these buildings, and you meet others who share that same interest or passion. If everybody gave some time, just a little bit of time, this country would be even better! Working together, collaborating and sharing can be so fulfilling and rewarding!

Liane

I founded a non-profit called the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society (AMSS) that focuses on motorcycle safety, awareness and education in the province.  It started here in Edmonton with amazing support and it is our hope to reduce the number of serious injuries and fatalities caused in motorcycle collisions. I volunteer because I am incredibly passionate about motorcycles and I see the inherent dangers on the road.  We can all do so much better to share the road and ensure everyone gets home to their loved ones safely. We are a fantastic country, let’s show the rest of the world what we are made of and how it is done!  Give back, it’s how we grow!

Jodi

I like to stay involved in my community; I work with Edmonton’s NextGen, I also work with the province as an instructor – helping teach nonprofit organizations about board governance and how to be great not-for-profits. I think it’s an important thing to do. It’s also a great learning experience and quite rewarding as well. For me, it’s a no-brainer! Volunteering is a big part of my life, helping make Edmonton a better place brings me a lot of joy. Canada is better thanks to volunteers across the country. Volunteerism builds communities and opens up a dialogue between groups that otherwise may not occur.

Eugene

I give back by volunteering with various organizations in order to help make the city a little bit nicer for all of us! I believe it’s a citizen’s responsibility to try and make the community better for, not just, themselves but for everyone as a whole. Volunteering improves my life by helping me be a better person, a more wholesome person. As a multicultural, accepting country, Canada is bettered by the effort put forth by everyone who gives of his or her time!

Penny

My work with Meals on Wheels stems, primarily, from the fact that I’ve enjoyed a good life and consider myself quite fortunate. When helping in the community I get this feeling of belonging, of camaraderie. It’s not just helping those in need; there is also a great deal of personal satisfaction when you work with those who share your values; compassion, generosity, and caring. When you’re around good people, your spirits automatically get a lift. Moreover, when you’re doing helping in your community, regardless of location, it is good for the country as a whole!

Dick

I volunteer and provide financial support that, in some small way, will help make a difference in someone’s life that could really use the assistance. I also like providing mentorship support to entrepreneurs that are unable to afford consulting support. It helps me stay grounded knowing that there are so many people out there that are in, and come from, very difficult circumstances. It also helps me remain humble. I meet some wonderful people and learn a great deal. Volunteering is always for a cause that you believe in. When you do volunteer for “the cause”, you are truly making a difference in someone’s life.

Sandra

My volunteer activities stem from very close to the heart. Our Cocker Spaniel died from cancer in 2009 and shortly thereafter, I became aware of the Animal Cancer Therapy Subsidization Society. The society works to provide affordable cancer treatments for people whose animals are facing the, otherwise, deadly disease. I sit on the Board of Directors and am the Public Relations Chair as well. We aim to help educate pet owners about the disease, we also work to subsidize cancer treatments, because it isn’t cheap and it’s unaffordable to many. Everyone has a passion, politics, the environment, animals or people. I recommend finding your passion, your niche, and get volunteering. You’ll wonder why you waited so long!

Mohamed

I haven’t been in Canada long, but I feel a strong sense of belonging when I volunteer. As a university student, the need for an organization like the Campus Food Bank is obvious. Donating your time and effort can really help put life into perspective and help develop a sense of the world around us. Furthermore, my time as a volunteer also serves as a stress reliever. To be able to focus on something or someone, other than my responsibilities as a student, helps alleviate the tension that is so common in the post-secondary world. We live in this great, multicultural society, but for that to be successful – I believe we all should spend some time helping others.

Andrea

I volunteer in many different ways; various organizations around town, my church and through what I do with my business – as a mentor – as well. It’s the right thing to do. As human beings if we want to promote connectivity within communities, we have to be out; we have to be talking to each other! It’s awesome to meet other people who have similar vision, similar heart to want to give back. Volunteering helps me not take things for granted, to be grateful for what I have, to meet new people, and learn new skills. Canada is a great neighbour, volunteering is a part of our culture, part of what we do!

Brian

Staying active, both physically and mentally, is one of the reasons I enjoy volunteering so much, but there are so many other fulfilling reasons. My wife has Alzheimer’s disease, so helping at her living facility was an easy decision. I also like to spend time helping with support programs for adults. I’ve had a very successful career, so giving back is rewarding and fulfilling. Adults aren’t the only focus of my efforts; I enjoy working with younger people as well. So many people have been exposed to so many different aspects of the world, I like to help and provide practical advice to youngsters on how to get the best out of life!

Elaine

There are a few reasons why I choose to volunteer my time, and they’re all fairly simple. I like helping people, giving back to others, and it just seems like the right thing to do as a responsible citizen. Not only do I get to help individuals achieve their goals, I get to meet different people from all walks of life. Many of those people find themselves inspired by our work, and that leads them to get involved. As volunteers, we share our knowledge, experience, and expertise. I’ve volunteered all over the world, it builds bridges and, in my opinion, there is nothing more Canadian.

Imran

As a performer I always used dance as a way of connecting with others, now I volunteer to make similar connections! I was a shy and awkward kid. When I had the opportunity to participate in dance in high school, I had felt like that I had found my place. It taught me that if I wanted to mature, I would have to step out of my comfort zone. Volunteering has taught me a lot; every dance battle with my students and competitors ended with a handshake and saying “good job”. I learn from my losses and get to know the people around me that share the same interest. Canada has given me the comfort to do whatever I want!

Ashley

Volunteering in my community has made such a difference in my life. I work with Big Brothers and Sisters, the Edmonton Food Bank, and local homeless shelters. Being able to make a slight difference in someone’s life, being able to brighten his or her day just a little bit is very fulfilling. I find it very rewarding, but that’s not the only reason I do it! I am very fortunate and I never want to take that for granted. Furthermore, contributing to your community, even in the small ways, can bring us together and help us all live in a content and positive environment. All of Canada benefits from strong, happy and healthy communities.

Walter

“Age is but a number,” they say! That’s one of the main reasons I volunteer – it invigorates me and keeps me feeling young! I’ve been a volunteer for various organizations in Edmonton for over 25 years and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I am making a positive impact on others, and I believe volunteering fosters unconditional love. The act of assisting others ultimately benefits me. What goes around comes around.I hope to leave a legacy of generosity and feel as though if what I’m doing helps in my community, anyone across Canada helping in theirs will have the same impact.

Saba

I volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, various shelters and with kids at a local elementary school! My desire to help stems from a sense of responsibility and gratitude; not everyone has the same benefits in life, and I know my community would be there for me if I ever needed it. I’ve learned so much from those I work with and improved my social and life skills in the process. The more people in Canada volunteer, the more inclusive and welcoming Canada becomes. Volunteering is a selfless act, which makes Canada better! We are showing that we’re willing to put aside our personal lives, even if it is for a couple of hours, and help.

Dave D

My father was an incredibly selfless person and I believe that’s where I got my volunteer spirit – doing for others without asking anything in return and thinking of others before yourself. My time with the Norwood Child and Resource Centre is a lot like gift giving; the fulfillment I get seeing someone’s face light up is so rewarding. I get such positive energy from it, and it enhances my desire to pay-it-forward. I hope my volunteering inspires others! Whether it be locally or nationally, I think volunteering can really help others learn what it’s like to give of yourself without expecting anything in return.

Luciana

My volunteer efforts focus on an organization called “Rhymes that Bind”. It’s associated with the Centre for Family Literacy. I am a poet and an art historian, so being able to help communicate words through images is very rewarding. Language opens so many doors, so to be able to help parents and children – even the youngest of kids – explore the written word is thrilling. I believe volunteering creates such positive qualities. If I can contribute to my community with my specific skills, so can everyone. So go and volunteer, it’s not just about doing good, it is about engaging with the world around you!

Brian S

I volunteer at CKUA.com as well as at the University of Alberta. I believe you have to give back. Secondly, I’m just recently retired and I want to keep busy. It’s fun to meet new people and develop a sense of community. Volunteering keeps me connected to the community and helps me meet people I may not have connected with otherwise. I believe we, as Canadians, wouldn’t have half the things we do, or benefit nearly as much as we do, without the effort of volunteers across the country!

Nicole

There are many ways to assist your community; I feel that sometimes certain endeavors get forgotten. I volunteer with The Learning Centre, to assist with adult literacy. All Canadians deserve literacy skills, and the opportunity to meet their educational goals – whether that be reading the bus schedule or getting their GED. Literacy promotes a positive impact on our city.  The people I meet are some of the most wonderful people I know, and my life is better because of them. There are thousands of causes to get involved with across the country, and when you do, it shows those around you that Canada cares. I believe volunteers are at the heart of representing the world’s view of Canadians.

Pedram

There are so many reasons for getting involved in my community; I enjoy helping others and I gain life skills and experience, my social and interpersonal skills are improving, and it looks good to future employers. Health and well-being are so important, that’s why I volunteer with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta. The association doesn’t just help people right now, we all have a stake in the Association; work done there will aide all of us in the future. I think Canada is better, as a whole, thanks to volunteers who promote friendships and relationships, while also working with government to promote healthy lifestyles.

Liv

I volunteer with groups that I believe truly give something back to our community. When you realize just how much many organizations rely on volunteers you really get a sense of belonging and a sense of the bigger picture! The educational aspect to volunteerism is also unbelievable. I think I’ve learned more while volunteering than I ever did in high school or university; there are just so many types of people out there, and you cross so many different paths. You can’t help but learn from those around you. The work I do, or any volunteer for that matter, feels very Canadian. We work to make our community stronger, and everyone benefits when that happens.

Chris

We’re a country of nice people! I give back by volunteering as many hours as I can. If I have some free time, I want to give back to the community. I get a lot of satisfaction from it, I meet great people, and everybody loves a volunteer! There are so many reasons to put forth a little extra effort. Doing things for others really does help a person feel good about oneself.

Alice

I’m the youngest of eight children, but I always wanted my parents to “Order me” a younger sibling! It never happened, but I believe that’s why I have such fondness for working with children. Volunteering makes my life a lot better because I love working for an organization that does things to make children’s lives better. I’ve also met great people I otherwise wouldn’t have met. I wish for that every child in Canada could have access to a program like ABC Head Start and when you give back to your community, it allows for access to those resources.

Daniel

I started learning about the benefits of volunteering in my Leadership class in high school. I get this feeling of unity when helping, and my entire class developed this sense of community knowing that we can make a difference. On top of the personal fulfillment, I’ve been able to acquire some life skills that will benefit me further down the road. My communication, interpersonal skills and time management skills have improved significantly. Volunteering has helped me look back on my life and really appreciate all I have. Giving helps move all of Canadian society, and humanity, forward in terms of compassion, empathy, and evoking a general sense of community.

Cindie

I do a few things; right now, I teach English as a second language to adult newcomers to the country. I’ve been doing that, on and off, for a long time. Previously, I volunteered at the Cross Cancer Institute with young children, and a number of other places. I’m semi-retired, and I’ve been here for a number of years, so I like to give back to my community. It keeps me occupied and I feel good when helping other people. Volunteering provides people with skills, knowledge, willingness, and desire to get out there and help other people. By doing these things I feel like I’m making a valuable contribution to the community I call home!

Richard

One of the things I learned a great deal about is the compost and recycling program. I was a teacher for a long time and I don’t do it anymore, so I give back by combining teaching with a respect for composting. The city can be a challenging place to run, so understanding the problems of waste in our communities will hopefully influence citizens to do their part! Volunteering keeps me busy, and there’s a great deal of joy as well, I have no problem giving of my time! Canada is a wonderful place, and volunteers help make communities and the country, as a whole, special.

Heather

I give back by volunteering on medical missions that go to Ecuador. It feels good and I really enjoy the experience. Giving back, using my talents and abilities to benefit others, really improves my life. By helping other people, even in other countries, it helps improve our position as a country. A nation that prides itself in helping others, and recognizes the importance of it, fosters community spirit throughout.

Naznin

I do it for so many reasons; it’s a great way for me to show the City of Edmonton my gratitude and I get something back – it’s very fulfilling. We have fantastic citizens and we should be proud of them on a global level. I love volunteering. As a grandparent now, I feel it is important to provide a good example by helping others and being selfless. Volunteers give back so much; we strive to do things for one another, support one another. It’s a small world these days, and a positive impact can be made. Volunteerism is a trademark of being Canadian. We offer a great example for other countries to follow!

 

Akshita

I give back by volunteering and taking part in events that provide support for those who need it, such as food bank drives, blood donation, and shelter for the homeless. I began volunteering because I thought it looked good on my resume, but as time passed, I began to recognize that a community is made of its people. By having the privilege to give back, I not only get the opportunity to make someone else’s day better, I get to meet such a diverse group of people. Canadians are known for our respect for our diverse citizens. By volunteering, we get the chance to encourage the engagement of our citizens and positively influence the lives of other citizens.

Josef

I’m a student at the U of A, so seeing, up close, some of the issues with food scarcity on campus really motivates me! I take a shift at the Campus Food Bank – it’s practically my second home – and work to raise awareness of the Bank. I make great friends at the Campus Food Bank and get a great deal of personal fulfillment from helping others. In my opinion, volunteering strengthens Canada by creating a sense of community and unity amongst people, it helps people give back. Giving back also has its own rewards, not necessarily physical rewards, rather satisfaction in helping your fellow citizen!

Ralph

I volunteer with Drive Happiness. We help people, who may otherwise be unable to, get to appointments around the city. I’ve been it doing since I retired two years ago, and I just completed my one-thousandth trip! I do it in order to help others and provide a real service, and because I need something to do! The social aspect is fantastic. Volunteers make the community and country better by delivering services that, in other circumstances, might have to be paid for. My wife and I love doing it, and both hope that when the time comes that we need similar services, someone will be there to provide them.

Elisse

I try to give to my community in various ways: both my time and, if possible, financially. Last year I volunteered at Canstruction – it’s an organization that builds things out of cans! I also volunteer with various committees throughout the city. I previously volunteered for Suit Yourself – an organization that helps give women more confidence as they re-enter the workplace. In order to make Edmonton, and the country as a whole, a better place we all have to invest time and energy with organizations that improve the quality of life for those in the community.

Niloofar

I volunteer with an organization at the U of A called “WISEST” – which is Women In Scholarship, Engineering, Sciences and Technology. I do it because I want to help organizations that help our community! I consider myself both selfless and passionate, and giving my time to worthy causes just seems like a natural fit. Canada’s diverse culture is significant; it shows that, regardless of our race and background, we are one nation, which cares about humanity and living in peace. I believe we accomplish this by volunteering and supporting different groups and minorities.

Madi

My volunteer efforts are a part of my entire work-life-balance! I work throughout the week, but want something relevant to do in my free time; something rewarding that allows me to give back to my community. Since I was young, before I ever contemplated a career, I knew I wanted to volunteer. My efforts cover a lot of areas; I volunteered with numerous agencies while in university, and currently, spend a lot of time with kids as part of a homework club. Volunteerism connects people. It brings new Canadians and those born and bred Canadians together. I think that’s something that is unique to our culture.

Don

I volunteer with NextGen and a handful of summer festivals. I try to be involved all year round! I do it to get more involved in my community and to meet people. Volunteering really enriches my life; you get to meet people that share the same interests and you get to feel like you’re making a difference in your community. As for how it makes Canada a better place – it brings people together and enriches the sense of community we all feel.

Farah

Volunteering in my community has provided me with many benefits that I didn’t even consider before I started. I’ve volunteered with a handful of organizations in the city, but mainly Covenant Health at the Misericordia Hospital. As a volunteer, I get the chance to meet many patients and learn about their illnesses and treatment, and those interactions helped me develop social skills and more self-confidence. Encouraging people to stay positive or upbeat brings me a lot of joy! Helping those who are facing challenges really makes me appreciate how fortunate and blessed I am. I believe volunteerism helps the community, and the whole country, by inspiring empathy and helping us all remain humane and humble.

Karen

I like to volunteer with different organizations and helping out with the community. I do it because it’s an easy way to give back, connect with the community, meet new people and have a good time. It’s fun, the connections are fantastic and so are the friendships. Volunteering helps make a better place by bringing people together and helps them realize they can make a difference. We are a friendlier place when people work together for the benefit of others!

Ian

I give back by working with various community league organizations – I have a hard time saying “no” when people ask me to take part in community endeavors. I do it because I believe if you’re going to live in a community you should give back to that community- thereby making it even better! It’s quite enriching personally, helping others, making our communities even better to live, work and play in. Canada has a rich history of volunteerism – certainly, Edmonton does – I feel that it’s a civic responsibility to give back to where you live. It serves a basic need – people need to interact!

Juana

I spend much of my volunteer time helping children. The Centre for Family Literacy has so many worthwhile causes; I find it especially gratifying working with kids. By volunteering in my community, I encourage the best of others and myself. It’s sometimes thought that volunteers are making a sacrifice. In part, it is true, because one assumes a responsibility that must be fulfilled; but it’s more than a sacrifice, volunteering is a delight. Dedicating part of my time to volunteering improves my life, and of course that of others. Canada is a country of cultural diversity, recognized around the world for its solidarity and humanitarian practices. Serving others is part one of the values of every Canadian.

Tanvir

I arrived in Edmonton, from Montreal, in 2013 and wasn’t keen on the place. I didn’t know many people and wasn’t sure what, if anything, the community would offer a newcomer. When school started in the fall, my opinion totally changed. I now spend time volunteering in my community and attending and supporting festivals and events. When you give freely of yourself, you open up new opportunities; not just for yourself, but also for those you work with or help.  We live in a multi-cultural society and we benefit from its diversity. As we volunteer, we can gather information, experience and learn from each other!

Arisha

I’ve learned so much from volunteering including, how to remain humble and how to give back to society and my community. I was raised Hindu but now find myself volunteering at my Baptist Church where I lead Sunday school every week. In addition to humility and the benefit to my community, I feel a great sense of accomplishment from volunteerism. Volunteering in our country is so important, especially starting from a young age. It teaches young people to give back to society and allows Canadians to explore their interests while being exposed to many different things. These endeavors make Canada a better place for all!

Don

My job is part volunteer, part Mayor. When I joined city council, then eventually became Mayor, my volunteer time was cut dramatically, but I still contribute as much as I can. I sit on the library board, I work with partners throughout the region and more. I do it to connect to Edmontonians and to say thank you. I feel a great connection to this community; it’s been great to my entire family. Many of the people on my campaign team I met through volunteering and we share similar values. Canada’s success can’t be bought and sold; it has to be co-created by communities. We’re richer as a nation because of Canadian volunteerism!

Meghan

Capital City Clean-Up is one of the ways I’ve volunteered in the community. My sister and I took on a stretch of 118th Avenue, around the traffic circle, and helped tidy it up – it looked great when we finished! I also volunteer with Humane Animal Rescue Team, taking in lost or injured dogs and help them find homes. I do it to be part of the community, to do something useful, and it feels good to get involved. Giving of yourself, and improving your community helps make Canada a better, warmer place!

Richard B

I give back as, both, an artist and an activist. I publish news stories to social media, like YouTube,  afterwards I present them in paintings. I’ve always enjoyed painting, I’ve got a great deal of experience in print journalism as well as experience in public relations – so utilizing those things, which I’m very passionate about, seems to be a great way to give back to the community. Serving others, helping others always feels good. I like to focus on human and civil rights, the community and even freedom of expression. Volunteering improves Canada, and our lives, by allowing us to share our gifts with others!

Shawn

My church is located in the Alberta Avenue community, and we try to do as much as we can. We collaborate with St. Faith’s Anglican Church and serve the community by providing food for those less fortunate. We try and do it about once a month. There’s also a festival, AveFest that takes place in the community that our church helps put on. It’s for the community, free food for those who come by, to bring the community together. I do it because it’s fun! It’s fun to help make everybody’s life better. Canada is about stewardship; so giving back any way you can; within nature, or within your community.

Tristan

The two volunteer things I’m most proud to be a part of are the Distress Line downtown and for the past four years, I’ve been with Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I have a little brother, I met him in Grade two, he’s in Grade six now! It’s good! Earlier, my girlfriend and I were discussing why we do it. We really like the idea of community; it helps us enjoy our lives more. We enjoy it when other people put on things for us; like the sports we played as kids. Volunteering is one of the things that make Canadians – Canadian! I think that shows itself in how people enjoy volunteering.

Aurelie

I volunteer at a number of places; the volunteer fair and the Edmonton Northwest Senior’s Society come to mind.  I do it because I have the free time and I like to give back! I’m new here and it’s been a good way to meet people, it’s a welcoming past time and I have fun! I’m new to Canada but I can see how positive and effective volunteering can be in the community. I don’t know how volunteering operates in other countries, but it really shows Canadian pride.

Thomas

I volunteer to drive with Drive Happiness Seniors Assisted Transportation; I work their bingos and casinos as well. I like driving for them, and meeting and helping people. Especially when you call a client the night before and let them know you’ll pick them up – it really brightens their day. I lost my wife six years ago, so it gives me some satisfaction helping people get out when otherwise they might not be able to. It also gives me the chance to get out instead of staying at home. Volunteering is very Canadian in nature; I think it fills us all with pride when you give back to others.

Larry

I volunteer with the Edmonton Commuter Bike Society – bike mechanic stuff! I do it to give back, that’s really the main reason – I’m retired so along with the desire, I have the time. Like I said, it’s about giving back instead of taking. When we volunteer our time to help others, it really benefits the community as a whole and strong communities make Canada great!

Sarah

I’m part of a volunteer organization called Crossroads, it’s an outreach street van for sex workers in Edmonton. We provide harm reduction strategies, safe needles, food, clothing and hygiene services. We also offer a drop-in service; it’s a safe haven here in Edmonton. It’s important to be part of your community, to connect with people you might not see on an everyday basis, and it’s a great way to meet other people and to feel like you’re part of something bigger. I’ve met some amazing people and definitely gained different perspectives on life and different experiences. I believe Canada is a better place if everybody gives a little of their time each week.

Bailey

I like to volunteer with Wild North; it’s the wildlife rehabilitation centre! We inform people about how to deal when they encounter an injured animal. I love to volunteer; it’s giving back to the community. This is a great place to live, and volunteering helps foster a great sense of community! It helps me feel like I’m really giving back, this work will also help me in the future, as I want to pursue a career as a forestry technician. When everyone, together, puts in a few hours the results are really fantastic. Just a little bit of effort and we can accomplish amazing things.

Aaron

I am retired and have a desire to help in my community; that makes the decision to volunteer an easy one! As a Chinese-Canadian, I enjoy helping other members of the community live happy, healthy lives. I assist with organizing activities and getting people involved and taking part. I also benefit – mentally, physically, and emotionally – from helping others; I feel great! There are many personal benefits to my volunteerism, however others see those benefits as well; volunteering can save Canadians a lot of tax dollars. We work for free to build a community and make it strong. When one participates in a project, that project becomes part of that person. A sense of belonging develops and a cohesive force is created.

Kaelin

As a post-secondary student, I face many stressful situations throughout the year. Exams, finances, and employment can be daunting, but my volunteer work really helps me decompress and put things in perspective. I split my time between the City of Edmonton Youth Council (CEYC) and the Campus Food Bank. Many students are forced to worry about food security, and they shouldn’t have to be concerned about proper nutrition while studying. My work with the CEYC is also extremely rewarding. There is a whole generation of young people out there that may sometimes feel ignored. I like to help give youth their voice!  I believe volunteering connects people of different backgrounds, strengthens communities, and ultimately makes Canada a better place.

Rhea - ECVO Volunteer

Rhea

I started volunteering at university … and I fell in love. Volunteering got me involved in non-academic activities and helped me learn a lot about who I was and who I wanted to be. Today I am a “Big Sister” mentoring a little girl. I am Vice President of the Centre for Autism Student’s Association at university and I’m doing a volunteer internship with a nonprofit board. I’ve done a lot of other things too, because volunteering just makes my life better. The hardest part is getting started. It can be intimidating – especially if the organization is big and well known, but the truth is organizations LOVE volunteers!

Shannon - ECVO Volunteer

Shannon

When I was younger I was involved in many competitive sports. Now one of my favourite activities is volunteering with the Blues Lacrosse Club. I have helped on the floor with coaching, acted as treasurer and recently was promoted to president. The daily grind can take its toll and volunteering for the club gives me a positive outlet to give back to my community and role model volunteering for my daughters. My advice to a new volunteer is to find something important to you. There are small and large volunteer commitments, find one that is enjoyable to you. Get out and give your time, it feels good.

Monica - ECVO Volunteer

Monica

Two days a week you’ll find me volunteering at the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE). If I’m not there, I might be down the street volunteering at the Winspear Centre or around the corner at the Don Wheaton YMCA. I arrived in Canada three years ago and knew nobody. I stopped by the restaurant at SAGE one day and thought, “oh, I like this place”. Before I knew it, I had signed up to volunteer. I’ve met new people and after 49 years working as a nurse, volunteering has broadened my horizons. I’ve been an usherette, a receptionist, and at the moment I’m learning to be an aqua aerobics instructor.

Sultana - ECVO Volunteer

Sultana

I wasn’t always a volunteer. I come from a country where volunteering is not valued. My friends here told me that in Canada people really respect volunteers – so I started volunteering in 2011. I volunteer at the Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Action for Healthy Communities and Dickinsfield Amity House. It’s a great way to know the community and develop your skills. Now I suggest to friends to volunteer. It doesn’t have to be anything specific.  When there are shopping carts here and there at the mall, I put them back – and my kids also do that. Any way you can help people and give back makes you feel better.

Jeff - ECVO Volunteer

Jeff

Volunteering keeps me involved in the community and there’s a good feeling that comes with that. I think it was my Dad who first taught me about volunteering. He always visited people in the neighbourhood and helped-out the elderly, even when he was 80 something. I started volunteering as an entertainer. A friend and I visited seniors’ centres – sang songs, told jokes and got some audience participation going. Now I volunteer at Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE). I run the drop in scrabble group, the GLBTQ group for seniors, and the photography club. Volunteering keeps me active and I feel like I’m doing well.

Dicky - ECVO Volunteer

Dicky

I firmly believe that volunteering contributes to one’s mental and physical well-being. I act as a volunteer mentor and promote the benefits of volunteering within the Francophone community. Ever since I created CANAVUA, a local nonprofit organization, I have met many others who want to participate in volunteer projects. For me, volunteering is an opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience and to develop networks. Networking is definitely one of the greatest benefits of volunteering. I often meet newcomers to Canada who have no knowledge of what volunteering is about – there is an entirely different culture here in Canada.

Elsie - ECVO Volunteer

Elsie

When I first started volunteering, I was nervous and excited at the same time, not knowing what it would be like. I continued and found that I got more than I gave. I am on the board of a new nonprofit society, Kohkom Kisewatisiwin.  The society reclaims traditional roles for grandmothers. I host kohkom circles at my home where we support one another and learn to be resourceful to our communities. I also visit aboriginal grandmothers in hospitals around Edmonton. I have a seven year old granddaughter and lately she says “Grandma I want to be a volunteer.” It’s important to show them the way to live their life.

Ekko - ECVO Volunteer

Ekko

I’m nine years old. I like to do things for other people, like helping them carry groceries. With Girl Guides we often find ways to help in the community. I love to see that I’m making a difference when I help people and it makes them smile. Everybody needs help once in a while. I even help my Dad when he volunteers at events. Volunteers have to want to help and be interested in giving their best. Most of all, you must be open and just willing to have fun.

David - ECVO Volunteer

David

Volunteering is the happiest three hours of my week – every week! Currently I teach ESL classes at Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers. It’s not just about language I also introduce newcomers to the customs in Canada. This is not my first volunteer role. A few years ago I went to India for four months with One International. We taught informal school curriculum to street children in Mumbai. I volunteer because I feel privileged to have safety and the freedom to choose how I want to live. I’ve got free time. Why watch Netflix every day when you can go out and do something to help another human being?

Jim - ECVO Volunteer

Jim

It’s ironic how I started volunteering at West End Seniors. My wife was already volunteering there as the senior fitness instructor. Coincidentally, the President of the Board at the time was a former employee from my working days. The centre was setting up a planning committee and they asked me to help out. It was work I had done before, so I joined in. Now I do just about anything to do with maintenance along with one other volunteer. It’s something to get up in the morning for. If you’re starting out volunteering, try and tag along with someone else who’s already doing volunteer work.

Judith- ECVO Volunteer

Judith

It was only when I started volunteering that Edmonton really began to feel like home. In my life, I have been blessed with a good education, a loving family and a rewarding career which has given me skills and abilities I can share. I use those skills to serve on the board of directors of GEOMEER and when I volunteer at local events including Pride Week, Talmud Torah’s Youth Fair and Suit Up. I am also active in my church at Sunday Mass and on different committees. If you are new to volunteering, my advice is to dive in. Research proves that people who volunteer have healthier and happier lives.

Prem - ECVO Volunteer

Prem

I have learned that anything you give as a volunteer comes back to you – it’s a law in the universe. A hug, a smile, or respecting somebody, you get it back. I teach meditation at Strathcona Place Seniors Centre Society and the West End Seniors Centre. I’m interested in doing something with people of my own age and meditation is my interest. I have expertise and I have time, so this is what I do. The seniors centres have really changed my life. To anyone considering volunteering, it will enhance your quality of life. Volunteering is good for your health and gives you the chance to make connections with others.

Kristy - ECVO Volunteer

Kristy

My parents volunteered when I was in minor sport and taught my siblings and I the value of giving our time to others. For the past 16 years I have volunteered with the North East Basketball Association. I’ve coached the entire time and also served on the Executive for three years. I also help out with tournaments and work at casinos to fundraise even though I don’t have a child in the program. I just feel so happy when I can put a smile on someone else’s face. My advice to a new volunteer is to pick something you have an interest in and inspire someone else.

Adrian - ECVO Volunteer

Adrian

Volunteering has helped my life in so many ways. I believe that volunteering is a meaningful way to give of yourself to others and to stay truly connected to what it means to be a human being. Sharing my first nations culture of song, dance and storytelling gives me the opportunity to educate others on the truth of native people in Canada while allowing me to travel to places I never thought I would ever go.

Ronald - ECVO Volunteer

Ronald

Je suis contractuel et le bénévolat contribue à équilibrer mes horaires chargés. Le bénévolat renforce ce qui me tient réellement à cœur et me rappelle que la vie ne gravite pas uniquement autour du travail.  Comme bénévole à la Fédération des aînés francophones de l’Alberta, je suis un lien intergénérationnel renforçant la communication entre jeunes et aînés.  Ces derniers ont tendance à ralentir à l’automne de leur vie.  Mon but est de contrer cela en les motivant au niveau culturel.  Étant bénévole depuis une trentaine d’années, mon conseil aux personnes intéressées à s’initier au bénévolat est de faire ce qui vous tient à cœur.  Prenez le temps de découvrir votre passion.

Paige - ECVO Volunteer

Paige

I’ve volunteered for a lot of different reasons, but usually it comes down to a cause or idea that is really important to me – something I’m really passionate about. I have made incredible connections as a volunteer and made friendships with other people who care about the same things I do. Starting to volunteer at some of the places I have, I didn’t necessarily know if I was going to love it or not but trying different things has been really cool. I think in lots of areas of life, it’s easy to just go with the flow but volunteering provides opportunities to push your boundaries a little.

Barbara - ECVO Volunteer

Barbara

One day I went to the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) thinking I’d volunteer for a half day a week. That was eight years ago. Now I’m there all the time. I instruct brain fitness classes, fall prevention and emergency preparedness. For me, volunteering is the definition of happiness. It gives me a sense of purpose – something to get my teeth into. When I get up in the morning, I know l’m off to SAGE. If you’re thinking about volunteering, get active first. Start by joining a program, hang out with the people, then when you’re ready – volunteer!

Sharan - ECVO Volunteer

Sharan

After I moved to Canada ten years ago I noticed my community was lacking in certain supports. I felt that if I volunteered I could help. My first volunteer role was with the Mill Woods Community Patrol. I felt so good about what I was doing I volunteered to be on the board of the Edmonton Community Adult Learning Association. Then last year I joined the board of the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre. I am treasurer for both boards. If you are new to volunteering research different organizations and contact them to see if they can accommodate you. Do it today and start reaping the benefits volunteering can offer.

Kathy - ECVO Volunteer

Kathy

Why do I volunteer? I do it because I can and I love it. It’s awesome. I always get more than I give. I’m grassroots – I coach indoor and outdoor soccer with my daughter which is just terrific fun. I co-chair fundraisers for Special Olympics and I’m on the board for Women Building Futures. I’ve also volunteered at Homeless Connect 11 or 12 times. It adds so much value to my life and I’ve met the most amazing people through volunteering. I love it – but it’s not for everyone. If you have a cause you are passionate about, explore it and see how you can give of yourself to that cause.

Niamh - ECVO Volunteer

Niamh

Don’t worry about what your friends will say. Just do it. My family has always volunteered and talked about how important it is to give back to community. I volunteered for the first time with my Mum and Nana. I was about eight and it was a large community event. Recently I have done more formal types of volunteering at 630 CHED Santa’s Anonymous, The Mustard Seed and The Hope Mission. I give about eight hours a month at the Hope Mission. It has really opened my eyes to the lives some people have and how we can make a difference no matter how small.

Savio - ECVO Volunteer

Savio

To say that volunteering has been rewarding would be a severe understatement. Although my student schedule forces me to prioritize my commitments, I always try to find time to give back to my community. My biggest community investment is with the Brain Awareness Movement (BAM) at the University of Alberta. The group advocates for brain injury survivors and educates the public on the importance of brain injury prevention. At the Networks Activity Centre, I interact with survivors. From playing billiards to karaoke, there is never a dull moment. If you want to volunteer, take a chance and explore the possibilities.

Cliff - ECVO Volunteer

Cliff

I’m Cliff. I am a passionate community builder and volunteering allows me to do this important work. Working to build community resilience with other like-minded people has expanded my world. I have built broader networks, explored new ideas and realized the transferability of my skills. For anyone wondering how to get started as a volunteer, I heartily recommend finding an interest or opportunity that fits your values. When you are passionate about something it makes it easy to give your time, skills and connections to the cause.

Janet - ECVO Volunteer

Janet

I volunteer because I like to give everybody the opportunity to do the best they can do.  I share my passion for yoga by hosting a class for brain injury survivors three times a week. Volunteering makes my life better because I am making a difference in other people’s lives. If you have never volunteered before, be assured, it’s very rewarding. When you share your talents and time with others, it can make a very lasting impression.

Bob and Barb - ECVO Volunteer

Bob and Barb

We love meeting new people and we love volunteering – it’s fun! We get to use skills we developed before we retired and we get to do things we’ve never tried before. Volunteering has become a part of our social life and we have met some very close friends. We’re lucky to be healthy and energetic, so we choose to give back. Volunteering is easy. Do something you’re passionate about – help a neighbour or get involved in something with greater community impact. But, bide your time; be picky about what you choose – if you don’t like what you are doing as a volunteer, it will show!

Sunny - ECVO Volunteer

Sunny

When I came to Canada I was a reclusive immigrant. A dedicated and persistent volunteer helped me out of my shell and happily I have never looked back. We can’t always express our appreciation directly to those who help us, but we can pay back or pay forward by helping others. As a retired professor and volunteer I now contribute to the community by working with the boards of various nonprofit cultural organizations. For me, volunteering is a matter of the heart. It gives us a real feeling of reward and pleasure to know we’ve helped others. We gain in vitality and better health overall.

Ross - ECVO Volunteer

Ross

I’m not one to sit on the couch, I have to do something. Volunteering at West End Seniors has been part of my life since 1994. I have helped out around the centre by doing whatever needs to be done and I have also served on the Board. I particularly enjoy working in the woodshop. People often stop by looking for help with something. It’s rewarding to see people happy when they have received the help they need. Volunteering at the centre makes my life better. In a way, you kind of get a big family with all the people you meet.

Alicia - ECVO Volunteer

Alicia

When my community league was building a park near my house, they wanted help with fundraising, so I got involved in a pub night. It was fun working with my neighbours, so when the Social Director position was open at the annual general meeting, I volunteered. During three years in that role, I loved seeing how the events I planned brought joy to the families in my community. Now I am the President. I know everyone is busy, but if you truly want an organization to be successful, take time to help out. No matter how big or small your contribution, it will make a difference.

Rosalie - ECVO Volunteer

Rosalie

Why would I not volunteer? Volunteering makes my life richer for all the variety of people that come into my life. I volunteer with my community league, community newspaper and an international organization because I want to contribute to the greater good and build my community. If you have the time don’t wait to be asked to volunteer, just try it out!

Daniel - ECVO Volunteer

Daniel

I started volunteering in university, and my reasons were selfish. There was a lot of pressure to get experience to add to your resume. Now I do it because I love being involved in my community and a part of something meaningful. I volunteer with Chimo Youth Retreat Centre where I organize an outdoor recreation program and I tutor refugee children once a week as a volunteer with Catholic Social Services. Volunteering is a great habit for life. It expands your social network, builds experience for a career and makes you part of something bigger. My advice is … just do it! Once you do, you’ll never look back.

Sasha - ECFO Volunteer

Sasha

Volunteering is more fun than it sounds. I have helped the teachers at my school after hours doing things like laminating, coiling workbooks, gluing certificates and organizing classrooms. I was even the team manager for school sports teams. In the summer I did a leadership and volunteering camp where we did a camp for young kids and put on a fun carnival. I’ve even helped out at the food bank. Other people do so much for me the least I can do is help wherever I can. I have met a lot of people and I feel more comfortable now with people. I am more open now to take roles in leadership.

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