KAAAV celebrates local volunteers during National Volunteer Week. Here are some great volunteer testimonials recently collected, about why people volunteer and what they feel they gain.
From a volunteer at Kingston Community Health Centre:
Volunteering is an honour. I am on ODSP for medical reason and cannot work, which made a huge void in my life. I volunteer to maintain a sense of purpose and step out of my comfort zone (the small bubble I live in). The main reason I love to volunteer is because I am able to help others. Volunteering at KCHC just comes naturally. The staff here at KCHC are kind, compassionate and very understanding. It is like having an extended family at KCHC. It gets me out of the house which for my mental health is extremely important. Volunteering is my way of giving back to the community.
Through volunteering I have grown so much as a person. I have learned to trust others.
I have gained self confidence in myself. I am part of something that helps the community. I have been given training opportunities to better equip me with my volunteer duties. Volunteering has made a tremendous impact on my mental well-being.
I have made some amazing bonds and friends through volunteering. For the first time is a very long time I feel like part of something, instead of feeling like an outcast. I have gained the respect of my peers.
I highly recommend volunteering to any and all. It is so satisfying when you are able to make another smile
From various volunteers at Community Living Kingston and District:
- I volunteer because I am incredibly blessed to be healthy and experience love and life. Volunteering let’s me share and give honour to God for the blessing in my life. I get a sense of fulfilment by giving back. It feels like my world is a bit bigger than just being all about me. It’s a privilege.
- I hold strong values of community and feel a particular responsibility to create connections with people who might be lonely or isolated. I hope this post will encourage more people to 'find a buddy' because it is so good for the heart and the soul.
- Initially I got involved because the program fosters an environment of inclusivity, educates others about people with intellectual disabilities, and creates friendships – all of which I wanted to be a part of. It has been a blessing to be friends with such a warm-hearted and kind person who is a lot of fun to hang out with…which we have done in-person and virtually when in-person has not been an option.
- Something that makes volunteering worth it would be the smile I get to see on Paul’s face when I go to pick him up and take him out!
From various volunteers at South Frontenac Community Services
- We live in a great community and I want to support the great works done by all the organizations that help make our community so great.
- I am a born again believer in Jesus and we are told to fill the needs of others whenever and however we can.
- Volunteering helps me to feel better about my fellow citizens and myself as we work together to share the talents we have.
- My parents volunteered and we were taught from a very young age that you can always find time to help those in need. To me this is just part of life, I could not imagine not volunteering and helping others.
- When I was a single mom, I struggled to meet all our family needs. There were times I had to rely on the generosity and kindness of others and I will never forget how kind and supportive they were. Things are better for me now and I have the ability to give back to support others who are now where I was then. (Food bank volunteer)
From various volunteers in Correctional Services of Canada:
- The thing I enjoy most about being a community volunteer is having meaningful conversations with the people I serve and learning from each other.
- I take a lot of joy in my volunteer work. I've been able to learn a lot from my interactions with individuals affected by the justice system.
- I think the best way to learn about topics is to immerse myself into the environment and learn from experience by interacting with clients and volunteering with others. As I learned more and developed professional relationships with individuals affected by the justice system, I was eager to support this population in their reintegration into society.
- I have always had a strong interest in volunteering with those in my community. Volunteering has been a wonderful way to combine my passions, and becoming a CSC community volunteer has been my favourite part of my undergraduate degree. I love that when volunteering I learn something new in each interaction I have, whether it be through a conversation, a staff member, an ex-offender or a fellow volunteer, my thoughts and opinions about corrections and incarceration are always being challenged and reshaped.I have learned about the importance of listening to individual’s stories, and have gained a further understanding of how oppressive systems in society function to further victimize marginalized populations. I greatly enjoy every opportunity I have to volunteer!
- I wanted to volunteer with CSC to show inmates that there are community members who are welcoming and hoping for their successful re-entry.
- Being a community volunteer has reaffirmed my belief in giving people a second chance, and has helped me realize that oppressive systems and ignorant attitudes in society cannot be eliminated without education, awareness, and bringing people together.
- I have always been interested in volunteering in the correctional system and learning how I can be a part of an offender’s successful reintegration into society. What motivated me to become a Community Volunteer was to be able to give back to the community and make a difference through this interesting experience. I have found my volunteering very rewarding and it has helped me grow professionally and personally!
- What I enjoy most about being a community Volunteer is getting to interact with many different people and personalities. Being able to interact with many different people has helped me in my nursing education in interacting with different patients.
- I value the opportunity I have been given to work with and speak directly with those who have had different experiences than mine. It has been extremely valuable; I have learned many things from the stories and conversations I have each week with those I am supporting. You cannot underestimate the value you get from working alongside those who work on the frontlines and have experience in service fields.
- I most enjoy having a tangible opportunity to make an impact (even if small) on the individuals’ day.