Happy National Volunteer Week! Volunteering is an activity that is meaningful to millions of people worldwide because it allows us to give back to our community and do good for others. The beautiful thing about volunteering is that anyone can do it. In honour of this amazing week, I would like to share a personal story of the first time I volunteered.
I admit the first time I even thought about volunteering was because I needed the hours to graduate and I am sure many high school students have been in the same boat. I remember going on Volunteer Halton’s website the summer prior to sophomore year, and reading about numerous volunteer opportunities and I stumbled across the Milton Youth Action Team and read about the volunteer position. Everything I read sounded incredible, and something I truly wanted to be a part of, so I quickly signed up. I was ecstatic when I got an email from Lily (our Youth Asset Builder) welcoming me on the team. I remember jumping up and down and telling my mom that I was finally going to start volunteering! Soon I was filled with panic, I had no clue what I would wear or bring! It was pretty clear that I had never volunteered before.
The day I was waiting for finally came, and my mom pulled up to the place that I would soon be volunteering for the next ten months, and hopefully more months to come. I was incredibly nervous and took a deep breath and opened the door. It was filled with unfamiliar faces. The old me would probably run away in fear, but I decided to take a leap of faith. I built up my courage and walked into the room and introduced myself. I met Lily, an incredible youth volunteer worker and some of my soon-to-be closest friends. Over time, we all began to open up to each other and I found myself looking forward to every Thursday when we would volunteer.
The first project that we chose to take on was quite difficult: plan two events for the annual Milton Fall Fair. As a team, we decided on hosting a music competition called the Battle of the Bands and a youth space called the Rec Room. We all put in more time and effort and gave out individual roles in the group. We called companies, created posters, found bands to perform, got sponsorship for the prizes, booked cameramen, rented a photo booth, found judges and organizations that we would partner with, etc. It was months of hard work all for one incredible unforgettable night. September 27, 2019 quickly came, the night of the Fall Fair. It was a success to say the least. All the extra work and stress created a memorable night for the Fall Fair. We were smiling all night, proud of what we pulled off.
Volunteering has allowed me to grow as an individual and inspires me to do more for our community. I hope my volunteer story shows the impact volunteering can have and inspires you to start or continue to volunteer.
By: Kacy B., Milton Youth Action Team