Guest Blog Post – Why I volunteer – By Kim Saikali

Here is a guest blog post by Kim Saikali.  Kim has been a great volunteer and was excited about the opportunity to talk about why she volunteers in this weeks blog post.
Hope you enjoy!

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Why I volunteer –

When asked the question “Why don’t you volunteer?”, most people respond by saying that they would love to help out and engage many opportunities, but they think there’s no way they can fit a full-time additional job into their already hectic life schedule. It’s true, some volunteer roles are very consuming and require a great deal of free time but each time another volunteer joins a cause, the workload becomes much more manageable.  Working together, we can achieve some amazing goals.

I just participated in the 2013 Army Run half marathon event, and the number of volunteers that helped out the event was phenomenal! From helping set up the event, to posting mileage markers along the route, to manning road stations to provide help to local residents affected by the route, to handing out Gatorade and water to the runners, each of those people took a small role in making an event spectacular. If one person had to manage each watering station, their involvement would be a full-time commitment, but with the amount of volunteers that made themselves available, each person participated with the time they were able to commit, without having to readjust their busy personal and professional lives.

Volunteering occurs in so many small ways that add up to one big sum. Bringing in donations to aid a charity auction is volunteering. Same as donating a can of spaghetti sauce at the local food bank’s container in each grocery store. For those with available time, approaching a senior’s home to spend time with the elderly is a great way to help out and meet people with wonderful stories and perspectives to share. Are you a part-time handyman at home? The number of ways you can help out your friends and non-profit organizations is staggering. Volunteering is extremely rewarding on so many levels, be it socially, personally or professionally, that you owe it to yourself to try it once.

Looking for ways to spend some family time together? Look for the opportunities that are posted in your local newspaper. Join the volunteer team of an upcoming local open house event, or maybe a tree planting initiative, or help to clean up the local park. All these events are rewarding for families made up of any age groups, and give everyone involved the opportunity to feel more connected with their neighbourhood.

This year I’ve volunteered my time with the RBC Bluesfest event as a stage hand, and also helped out with the 3rd Annual VOscars Fundraising Gala event at the Aviation Museum. Both events have given me a chance to meet many new people, all of whom are social, outgoing and enjoyable in every way. Beyond giving my time, I’ve cleaned out my children’s closets and donated their outgrown clothing to the Diabetes Association. As well, I’ve driven my teenage kids to their various volunteer choices, such as the Lebanese Festival at St. Elias Cathedral or playing piano for seniors at the Carleton Lodge. All of these small efforts have proven profitable to me in all the most important self-fulfilling ways. By connecting with so many great people who share my own similar interests, I’ve expanded friendships and entertained new ways of helping out!

I love meeting people, giving back to the community, and helping make the world a better place by Volunteering!

Kim Saikali

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