Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z: V is for Volunteering

Only 5 more posts to go in A-Z (including this one). I still don't have a topic for Y, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. Moving on and keeping with my "All Things Grad School" theme, here comes V...

I volunteer a lot. When I was about fifteen, I started to volunteer a little. As the years passed, I started collecting more and more organizations for which I volunteered. I'm twenty-nine now and I don't volunteer a little anymore.

I know I volunteer a lot, I've known it for years, but I didn't really realise how much until I put together my grad school C.V. and noticed that the Volunteer Experience section was the longest. Right now I am active with five organisations, two of which I have been part of for two years short of a decade (yep, that's fancy talk for eight years). I volunteered in Gaborone, Botswana, Africa for four months, I've run two lengthy independent campaigns to raise funds for two separate causes. The first time I shaved my head (that link takes you to the video of the shave) and raised $4000 and the second time I ran a half marathon and raised $5000. I ship used textbooks to Africa. I sell daffodils for the Canadian Cancer Society. I help students from refugee camps settle into their new lives as post-secondary students at Brandon University. I love it all.

Volunteering is a huge part of my life. I don't think I will ever not volunteer in some capacity. Before I move to Fredericton this fall, I will have to give my resignation to all of the boards that I sit on, find people to take over some of my more personal projects, and say goodbye to all of the students that I help every day. That last one will be the hardest. I'm not sure how I'm going to do it, but I know I have to. It's time to move on...

...and volunteer in a whole new city, at a whole new university, with all kinds of new and fascinating people. I'll hardly have time to eat and sleep while doing my Master's, but I'll find the time somewhere to volunteer; I have to.


  1. How wonderful! You're creating a lot of good Karma :-)

  2. I have to agree volunteerism has been as much a saving grace for me as lending my time has been to others. You do good stuff!

  3. I’m so impressed with all you do! I agree with a month of… Blog your Karma rating must be sky high.

  4. You are inspiring!

    The neat thing about volunteering is that you can tailor it to fit around the rest of your life--and I know you will find a way to do so while pursuing your Master's Degree. Volunteering might tire you out physically but I've found it always gives you energy emotionally!

  5. Volunteering makes us happy. I served as a volunteer for my church for a couple of years before, and it was such a great time helping others!