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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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