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Jump in to Volunteer Work

Updated: Nov 10, 2018

Volunteers from our annual #OperationRudolph event!

I’ll admit that when I entered Grade 9, I began with the mindset that I had plenty of time for volunteer work; after all, only 40 hours were required to graduate. I’m no mathematician, but that would only mean that I had to devote 10 hours a year. On the complete other side of the scale, I had classmates that were constantly volunteering any chance they could get. I would always think to myself, ‘ Why? Why are they putting in so much unnecessary work?’

My opinion changed pretty quickly after I had my first volunteering experience. I was given the opportunity to tutor young kids at my elementary school. Now, it is important to note that I was not particularly keen on working with kids. In fact, most of the time I was pretty sure that they didn't enjoy my company any more than I did theirs. However, after the experience, I was overcome with a sense of pride; I felt truly content. Making even a small contribution to my community made me feel purposeful. As cheesy as it sounds, just by this simple act of giving away one or two hours of my time every week, I became a happier person.

Although volunteering is considered a selfless and humbling act, it can also be selfish in the best way possible. Volunteering can give a sense of purpose and meaning to a person’s life, especially when youth are confused about their path. Additionally, it can build self image and confidence while being a way of exploring and discovering yourself in a more realistic setting than in a classroom.

Once I became hooked on to this feeling, there was no going back, and over time I began to realize the countless other advantages of volunteering early on in my high school career.

Firstly, it teaches countless skills that will be beneficial long down the road. Volunteering is similar to the workplace, but without the added pressure. You can build people skills, learn to be adaptable, or explore career options. The earlier you start, the more trained you become for when you are faced with real life situations in which those skills are important. For example, volunteering experiences can help when you are trying to get a job, applying for an important position, or communicating with teachers or group members. Volunteering always sharpens the skills we use in our everyday lives.

Finally, the simplest, and most important reason to volunteer is because there is a sense of responsibility. Every person is part of a community that is not only built on obligation but a sense of voluntary responsibility (pun intended). So, why not sacrifice a few hours to better someone else’s life, who may not be in as good a position as you?

Grade 9 is the beginning of a young person’s path to finding themselves, their passions and the kinds of people they want to be; the greatest and all round most beneficial way to do so is to volunteer their time towards a cause.


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