Timeraiser Vancouver 2010, WestJet Giveaway


Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 — 9:00am PST
Comments 206

The third Timeraiser Vancouver will be taking place toward the end of this month as people from around the city will get together to pledge their time to support local causes. To promote this event, presenting sponsor WestJet has offered up 2 tickets to anywhere they fly (valued at over $4,000) and these are being handed out exclusively by Miss604.com.

Timeraiser is like a volunteer career fair mixed with a silent art auction; here’s how it works:

1. Purchase a ticket for your local Timeraiser event.

2. Arrive at your local Timeraiser event and determine which non-profit organizations you are interested in connecting with. You can visit the tables of organizations you are familiar with or find one based on their cause (environment, sports and recreation, development & housing, arts & culture, education etc.)

3. Once you have made your way around the room and have had the chance to chat, you can fill out your pledge card listing the organizations that you would like to work with.

4. You are then able to bid volunteer hours (in 5-hour increments) on local artwork. Bid the amount of time you can donate within the next 12 months.

5. If you win the bid on the artwork, you get to bring that home as a reminder of your volunteer pledge. You may bid on more than one piece but you’ll only receive one winning piece (and have one winning volunteer pledge).

IMG_1127
Photo credit: GusF on Flickr

The goal is to raise 5,000 community hours at the next event with a suggested pledge of 20 hours a person. Timeraiser also takes place in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto, with WestJet as a national sponsor of the event.

To help promote the upcoming event in Vancouver on Thursday September 23rd, Timeraiser and WestJet have exclusively partnered with me for an amazing giveaway.

The Prize:
WestJet is providing 2 roundtrip tickets to anywhere they fly (valid for use by September 2011).

Valid for any WestJet destination in Canada to any WestJet destination in Canada, US or International destinations on regularly scheduled WestJet service. The approximate retail value of the Prize $4,604, depending on destination chosen and time of booking from originating city.

How to Enter:
Leave a comment on this post about something that inspires you. This can include your favourite non-profit organization, your best volunteer experience, what it means to be involved in the community, why giving your time is important etc.

Rules and Regulations:
All entries for the contest must be received through the the comments on this post. On September 22nd, I will assist the Timeraiser crew in selecting ten favourite entries from which a winner will be randomly drawn.

Elegance
Photo credit: caribb on Flickr

The winner will be announced here, on Twitter, on the Timeraiser Facebook and Twitter accounts, and at the Timeraiser Vancouver event. You can view full contest rules and regulations here.

This is the only place where you can enter the contest for Vancouver and I’m very excited about this partnership. Not only do organizations get promotion and volunteers, Timeraiser provides a fun, easy-going environment for participants who have probably wanted to help for years but just haven’t made the right connections.

Good luck everyone and I’m looking forward to reading your entries.

Update After narrowing down the entries (with the help of Timeraiser) then doing a random draw from semi-finalists our winner was selected. It was a very tough choice as there were so many inspiring entries but it was determined that the trip for two is going to Erin Graham! Congratulations!

Please be aware that Timeraiser is ALSO giving away a trip for two at the event tonight. Get your ticket and enter on-site for your chance to win.

Current contests on Miss604.com

206 comments

  1. Marc Smith says:

    My favourite charity of all time is A Loving Spoonful. They feed people and they engage their community while they do it. Any organization that reaches 20 yrs, is still relevant and has hundreds of volunteers with 1 + years of volunteering history is a winner!

  2. Christine says:

    I do consulting for non-profits and charities and am inspired everyday by the amazing work my clients do here at home and around the world. They could probably be paid a lot more to do a similar job in the private sector (I probably could too!) but making a difference is important to them. And to me!

  3. W.H.Stewart says:

    As a photographer Help-Portrait is important to me, cant wait for this year! http://www.help-portrait.com/#2

  4. James P says:

    BC’s landscape and fauna are truly inspiring. Definitely worth working to preserve.

  5. Hannah Lee says:

    I started volunteering at Union Gospel Mission when I was a teenage and all along I thought I was helping other people. I would help cook in the kitchen, or clean up in the main hall, or just say ‘hello’ to people when they came to have their meal. Their lives were so different from mine. I always wondered what it would be like to live out on the street. But something changed when I started volunteering. I learned that these homeless individuals had hope and love and faith in their lives. Giving to others, often times, gives more to your life than you would at first imagine.

  6. Grant says:

    I have been involved with Scouts Canada on a leadership basis for the last 12 years in the Lower Mainland (and 6 years in the interior). This is an incredible organization whose goals are to educate youth in the areas of outdoor activity and duty to country, others and self. I know that it was an inspiration to me as a youth and I am more than happy to give back as an adult.

  7. I have always considered grade-school education to be one of the most important parts of life. As such, I have always been most inspired by the many organizations working to improve the quality of education at home as well as abroad.

  8. Oana says:

    I am most inspired by the Covenant House staff in Vancouver who walk the streets to keep an eye on youths at risk. They hand out sandwiches and warm clothes and blankets to those who want to stay on the streets, and they help the rest find the resources they need to reconnect to society. Covenant House brings the services out to those who need them, and they do a great job.

  9. Cameron W says:

    My favourite local charity is Covenant House Vancouver. Not only do I think they do great work, but they also make people realize that homelessness can affect people of all ages. It’s not just about getting a job, it’s about dealing with everything that led to people being on the street, and helping them make a life for themselves.

    As it’s fall, they’re looking for donations of winter appropriate clothing again. This weekend I’ll be looking through my closet, and finding everything I can to take down there. Even if you can’t donate any money, it can do a lot of good bringing down donations of clothing. Much better than a lot of charities that sell them by the pound to Value Village.

    They’re also in the running for the Pepsi Refresh $100k prize at http://www.refresheverything.ca/Covenanthousevancouver . I know last round they came in 2nd, and this round will run until Oct. 31. Signing up and voting daily is another great way to support them.

  10. Whitney says:

    I volunteer for the Alzheimers society and am constantly inspired by the amazing care-givers who work so hard at helping those who have been disabled by this disease. I think its a great organization because it is not only helping change and better the lives of those with Alzheimers but also everyone that is involved with the patient and has put their own lives on hold to help.

  11. Greg says:

    Most inspirational? My friend who manages to have a sense of humour despite suffering from Cancer.

  12. Iris Nixon says:

    My 14 year old daughter volunteered with our city’s Parks and Recreation Program this summer called “Leaders In Training”. She assisted in various children’s programs and enjoyed herself immensely. It was a well run program where she spent a week with different groups of children helping out. She spent one week with preschool aged children in a daycamp. She spent another week helping in a pottery class and another week in an outdoor park program. The Leaders were grateful of her help and she enjoyed meeting the children. She plans to do this again next summer as the experience was rewarding and memorable.

  13. Rachel says:

    My best volunteer experience is with the Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Center of BC, which I have been involved with for 3 years. This organization strives to empower people in distress by providing them with tools to help themselves within a supportive and non-judgmental environment. Youth suicide prevention and stress intervention workshops are also provided to high schools all across the lower mainland. This is a great place to volunteer at because of the incredible training, the great and supportive staff, and the skills that you will take away from the experience.

  14. Robert O says:

    I am inspired by people who give so selflessly to help animals, whether strays or feral. It is, in some respects, a thankless job, but as someone who was once involved in fostering cats, the reward is in the act itself. It is an emotionally draining experience, financially costly, and is even seen as a subject of scorn and ridicule by those who think energy should be directed to “more worthwhile” causes and I see people who do it every day, because it IS who they are, not what they do. It isn’t a cat’s or dog’s fault that they were abandoned by people without hearts or souls, and rescuers give them a chance at health and love.. To paraphrase, “Saving one animal will not change the world… but surely, the world will be changed for that one animal you saved!”

  15. Tracy says:

    Something that inspires me is when people form real relationships and spend time with those in need.

  16. Justin vandyk says:

    My favorite is servants anonymous they take great pride and care in helping the women of Vancouver to get off the streets, especially away from the cycle of prostitution. They along with Steve Laug have helped many women get away from the street lifestyle and cycle. Great organization!!

  17. Tricia says:

    My favourite NGO in BC is Options for Sexual health, which indiscriminately provides sexual health services to British Columbians, including STI testing, contraceptive counselling and sexual health education.

  18. Emily B says:

    I’m inspired by the people I work with when I volunteer. I spent time working with HIV+ entrepreneurs in West Africa. It amazed me how much joy they brought to every occasion, regardless of how hard their lives were. Those are people worth fighting for.

  19. taraden says:

    I am involved in changing a child’s life through World Vision. I sponsor Mercy, a little girl who lives in Kenya, Africa and I have formed a wonderful relationship with this little girl. I donate $35 per month which helps pay for her schooling, immunizations, medical treatments. The money is also used to better her community. To date her community has had 4 early childhood development classrooms constructed, fully furnished with reading and learning materials, provided clean water systems to improve the communities water sanitation and reduce the occurance of water borne diseases. Many of the families have received hens and roosters, which the eggs from the hens will provide protein to their diets.

    Every 3 months or so I send Mercy a letter, photos, and some gifts for her. Things like pens, paper, stickers, basic school supplies which she is so happy to receive. She sends me back a letter and a photo letting me know how she is doing in her community and with her schooling. It is one of the most rewarding things that I have done in my life and it is so worth the $35 per month. One day I plan on travelling to Africa, to visit Mercy and her mother.

    I have been sponoring Mercy for almost 2 years now and I can not believe how gratifying it is to assit in making her community a better place. Not only for her to live in but for all the other children and people.

    If you have the money, there are so many children who need help!!!

  20. Marina says:

    I find Timeraiser itself very inspiring. It is such an innovative and interesting way to get people involved – I love the creativity that young people are showing in this way. It’s like Well of Change, another innovative volunteer organization, that is similar to Timeraiser, but works more on an online basis.

    As a former volunteer big sister, and someone who has worked in nonprofit for many years, I have seen first hand the difference that volunteers make in our community. Kudos to them for being so unselfish with their time, energy, and support!

  21. Kat says:

    I’m most inspired when I get to work with organizations that make a significant impact on the lives of youth in need in Canada.

  22. Kathy says:

    I have volunteered with Big Brothers during my high school years. I mentored young children who may have been brought up in a troubled home. Being a role model to young kids is an important responsibility to me as today’s youth are now living in an increasingly difficult environment. Throughout my life, I have continuously volunteered my time to helping with Holy Family Hospital, tradeshows, marathons and the Union Gospel Mission. I strongly believe in a community being united to help out others in need.

  23. Amy says:

    I tend to volunteer somewhere at least once a year. It feels great to help out, you also meet new people, and learn something new everytime you volunteer.
    I have had a lot of experience volunteering, from JunoFest or the 24 hour relay, I always get something great out of it. I always encourage friends to volunteer and I think it is really important. This event sounds great, and I would never have heard of it if it weren’t for Miss604!

  24. willstew says:

    My favourite organization is FUN Camps – a NFP Society that offers week long camps and after school programs in Victoria and Vancouver. It is a dynamic, youth-driven organization dedicated to making learning about the environment and becoming an agent for positive change a fun and rewarding experience for kids! http://www.funcamps.ca

    This organization is so important and is so successful in what it does because of all the people involved… and the end outcome in the kids who attend these camps is unreal!

    FUN Camps, you’re the best!

  25. Anne says:

    I have volunteered for The Fringe, Theatre Under the Stars, and the YWCA. This experience made me realize the contribution that volunteers make to the event. As a volunteer, you get back more than you put in.

  26. JKI says:

    Timeraiser: I was an Art winner at the 1st Vancouver event, and have been an advocate of the event ever since.

    I work at a large accounting firm where warm and fuzzies aren’t considered tangible returns for your volunteer efforts; which really hinders people to get involved. This is why Timeraiser is a wonderful because it provides those reluctant a tangible piece of art to reflect and remind them of their involvement.

    Community Involvement: Both volunteers and NPO seem to want to utilise a person’s employment skills (Accounting, Marketing, construction) for their community involvement. My focus for community involvement is to develop a well rounded person who can understand all aspects of society. This is why I chose to volunteer with a theatre society to enhance my artistic side.

  27. Rob says:

    Money can only go so far without the help of caring people to make things happen… TimeRaiser is a unique and amazing idea to get people involved!

  28. Yasmin says:

    I’m inspired by the volunteers who continue to give without a word of thanks. That is true giving.

  29. Hougee says:

    I used volunteered when I was in high school. However, all my community contribution stopped in University and never started again once I got started with my career. I managed to get myself to serve turkey dinner at a community soup kitchen on Xmas Eve 2 years ago and that reminded me how important it is to share and help. This event is fantastic!

  30. Great idea for event!
    For those not actively volunteering, it unexpectedly gives back as much as you give. At Synergy Computer Consulting, we actively support volunteering in the community. I am actively involved in helping kids as a Scout Leader – teaching them new skills, and appreciation for getting actively out in the outdoors. Great to see they are one of the organizations that will benefit. I also volunteer as the President for the Vancouver Water Polo club http://www.vancouverwaterpolo.com for girls and boys in Vancouver that love sports and swimming and want to try something new.

  31. Kristen says:

    Wow, what a wonderful event! I can’t wait to tell all of my friends and bid on artwork with volunteer hours – seriously, who thought of this? Love it.

    Last year, upon returning from a final university trip to Rwanda, I was inspired and wanted to do what little I could to make a difference. I got together with an acquaintance who had recently returned from Swaziland, another tiny country in Africa, whom I had done volunteer work with before. Soon enough we’d filled a notebook with ideas, dreams, and tangible solutions to some small problems, and plans to work on solutions for some of Africa’s larger problems with poverty. Before we knew it, we’d registered Change Lives, a non-profit organization with projects in Rwanda and Swaziland working to enrich the communities and individuals in Africa.

    Change Lives just celebrated our one year anniversary, and are working on some big projects that are about to come into fruition…it’s exciting stuff.

    The thing about non-profits and donating time is that while it may be inconvenient at times, it feels good. It’s one of those things that you walk into a meeting needing a coffee and an hour’s more sleep, but you come out energized and ready to work. It’s the kind of energy that only service and inspiration can invoke.

    Whether it’s starting an organization or fundraising for a non-profit like Change Lives, donating an hour of your time to a soup kitchen, or pledging to volunteer 60 hours of your time in the next year, every minute that you spend as a volunteer makes a difference and can change the life of someone else.

    What inspires me? Volunteers. Activism. Passion. Compassion.

  32. Lisa says:

    I am choked to have to miss this event this year as I’ve been for the last two — both were fantastic and I’ve been busily (and happily) volunteering for more than one organization since. A great way to promote volunteerism, extend your network but also connect with artists in the community. A must-do.

  33. Betsy Cooper says:

    Anil Patel, founder of Timeraiser inspires me! He left a cushy corporate job to create this incredible organization that not only provides much needed volunteer hours to charities across the country, but also promotes some of the incredible artists and talents in each region as well. Congrats to Anil and the rest of the Timeraiser team…you’re an inspiration to us all!

  34. Jewels says:

    What inspires me to be involved in my community is the spirit of an individual and their loyalty and commitment to a specific cause. I have immense admiration for those that have given their time, talent and treasure all for one purpose. And although I know many people in my life who do that, one of my true inspirations on how to live life to it’s fullest and give to others is my sister Trish.

    Trish has been involved in fundraising and supporting breast cancer research in the Calgary area. She is also now a Breast Cancer survivor, in remission. Her positive attitude and outlook on love and life is inspirational to anyone who meets her.

    Trish has inspired me to devote more of my time, talent and treasure towards a cause. At this point in my life, that cause would be Breast Cancer research.

  35. Laura says:

    I recently have started reading the blog of a Vancouver woman whose baby girl has a terminal disease. Her muscles don’t grow with the rest of her body, and she was given only months to live when diagnosed at 6 months. Charlie-Anne is now 14 months old, and I know her parents cherish every day they have with her, but she is getting weaker.

    Her mom writes about daily struggles, such as trying to focus on the positives, fighting with her husband, and envying other families whose children are “normal.” I’m only 23 with not a whole lot of life experience yet, but her writing not only made me cry, but inspired me to enjoy and appreciate life, and not sweat the small stuff. Because that family is doing the best they can with a horrible situation, and Charlie-Anne is here to teach us how precious life is.

    The kid’s a real cutie: http://sweetcharlieanneomine.blogspot.com/

  36. Heather S says:

    I’m inspired to help out in my community by the people in my community. I volunteer at the local food bank and also for our local Habitat For Humanity chapter. To me there’s nothing better than helping or giving to someone in need. It’s truly what we’re made for. To support, encourage, and love each other, nomatter our differences. That’s what keeps me inspired. Seeing how thankful and grateful they are is priceless.

  37. SJ says:

    I love the VACC – the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition. I have worked on a few of their commuter station which are positioned along bike route in the City. At the stations, the VACC set up facilities for bike maintenance/repairs, refreshments, information on biking supports and shops as well as giving away bike paraphernalia, such as lights and maps. Nothing says commitment to the environment and health like the VACC. They even make biking in the rain fun!

  38. Serena says:

    My Favourite Non Profit is The Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, but especially their annual event SHINERAMA, Canada’s Largest ALL Student Run Fundraiser. I have been a Volunteer with them for 10 years and I am currently serving as their Chair, I have Never been so proud to be apart of something. Since I started the median age of survival of People with Cystic Fibrosis has gone from 32 to 42! Hopefully one day CF will stand for Cure Found. I can’t wait for the day that happens.

    Students helping Students is amazing, 36,000 Coast to Coast.
    GO SHINERS!!!

  39. Brooke says:

    Since I’m a student, I can’t always donate to my favourite organizations as much as I’d like to. As an alternative, I regularly donate clothes to the Canadian Diabetes Association (via Clothesline). Diabetes affects my family and I find it’s the best way to help out on a tight budget. You won’t find me dropping off bags at any consignment store!

  40. The collective sense of hope I see amongst my friends and peers and colleagues inspires me. It’s like a beacon on the horizon that reminds us that we can change things bit by bit and little by little in all that we do.

  41. Sanaz says:

    I’m inspired by all the volunteers and selfless folk in our city that give without asking for much in return.

  42. Lindsay says:

    I am continuously inspired by the people I am surrounded by on a day to day basis. I am lucky enough to work at Children’s Hospital and there isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t get inspired by my coworkers, the doctors and specialists, the children who never seem to notice they have any sort of ailment and their parents, who are always there for whatever they or us, might need.

  43. Erin Graham says:

    Volunteering is a way to take responsibility for the well-being of others, a way to get away from doing your own laundry (or vacuuming or dusting baseboards or other kinda icky tasks)–and a way to learn how to be human. We need each other. I’ve volunteered my whole adult life for this thing and the other–one of my favourite most challenging places was Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter–changed my life for the better, for sure. Another great place is the UBC farm–you get to grow food and pretty things AND work with young people to teach them where food comes from as you learn, too. This is a big city. there’s lots of stuff to get involved in. Lucky us.

  44. Amanda says:

    My favourite non profit organization is probably Samaritan’s Purse. This Saturday I am going to be volunteering at a motorcycle ride/fundraiser called “Turn on the Tap” that helps raise awareness and funds for water filtration systems to be used in developing countries where there is no clean water. Samaritan’s Purse also organizes “Operation Christmas Child” where people can fill shoeboxes with gifts for children who wouldn’t get gifts otherwise. http://www.samaritanspurse.ca/

  45. At the moment my roommate and friend, Rebecca Macleod is inspiring me. She’s a Masters Student studying International Development, and has taken on the role of marketing director for a charity started by her and her classmates called “Schools Building Schools”.
    http://www.schoolsbuildingschools.org/

  46. John says:

    Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, build network, gain new skills and knowledge, learn new things, and have fun ! I have volunteered in hospitals, charity events, school sports, and my school campus. The experiences were great and I met many new people who shared similar interests and hobbies. I will continue volunteering throughout my life as it is a rewarding and fun !

  47. Chelsea says:

    I work for a non-profit that works with at-risk youth. These youth have somehow been affected by violence, and we help empower them to break the cycle of violence that is sometimes the only thing they know. We were able to bring 9 dedicated youth to our national camp in Haliburton, Ontario a few weeks ago to meet with other youth in programs like ours throughout Canada and a few internationally, too.

    The youth were able to meet other kids their age that may not be going through identical experiences, but can relate on a peer level, realizing that this work is being done by youth on a global level is really important for everyone.

    On the last night of the camp, there is always a talent show, and oftentimes this is where the youth really come out of their shell. Every year the youth astound me, and this year was no exception. Each of the 9 youth that came to camp performed, anything from fun sing-alongs, to seriously powerful spoken word. They floored me in how far they’ve come from when they first entered the program. One of my co-workers in another region said it best, “I can’t believe this is my JOB!”. I feel the same way.

    I am lucky enough to see beautiful transformations every day. To top it all off, when we got back and one of our older youth found out they had been offered a job they applied for doing youth facilitation at another Vancouver non-profit. To see that we are not only helping youth, but helping them reach goals they might not have otherwise even dreamed of, well you can’t put value on that! http://www.leaveoutviolence.com

  48. Sandra Niven says:

    My favourite non-profit charity is the Port Moody Ecological Society which runs a salmon hatchery at the end of Burrard Inlet. They have regular school programmes where they teach kids of all ages about our fragile eco-system and what they can do to help protect it; an annual Fingerling Festival where 4,000 members of the community come together to help release 50,000 finglering (baby) salmon into Noons Creek for their 4 year journey at sea and back; their volunteers work seven days a week to ensure that the hatchery is in working order, that the water quality of six local creeks is high, that the salmon are healthy and cared for, and that the area is protected; and, they do their best to spread their message throughout the Greater Vancouver area.

  49. Sharon says:

    I volunteer for the YMCA in the Host Connections program. I am “host” matched with a recent immigrant to Canada to provide support to adjust to life in Canada. What I have re-confirmed by volunteering with this program, is that we are all just human beings with the same hopes and desires, no matter what corner of the world we are from. I can learn as much from my YMCA “match” as I hope she can learn from me.

  50. I am so inspired by volunteers and endlessly thankful for the great work they do for community and helping organizations. Personally, I also have a great affinity for crisis line organizations, so if I had to choose one agency I would say The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of British Columbia: http://www.crisiscentre.bc.ca/

    Thanks for entering me in this great draw:)

  51. I am so inspired by volunteers and endlessly thankful for the great work they do for community and helping organizations. Personally, I also have a great affinity for crisis line organizations, so if I had to choose one agency I would say The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of British Columbia: http://www.crisiscentre.bc.ca/

    Thanks for entering me in this great draw:)

  52. maria says:

    I get inspired when i hear of unselfish deeds people do for others

  53. Sherry says:

    I am an aging feminist hippie granny. I was late in discovering West Coast LEAF but greatly admire their work and I have become a staunch supporter. It seems to me that women have actually lost ground in the last decade. I would like my granddaughter to grow up in a world where she truly experiences equality.

    “West Coast LEAF envisions a society in which women are full participants in the social, economic and political activities of the nation, a society in which it is a right to have one’s differences respected and supported both by the law, and through social and institutional policies and practices.” They are working to make this vision a reality through litigation, education & law reform. Have a look at their website to learn more about their organization.

    http://www.westcoastleaf.org

  54. Nora says:

    Sometimes I feel like I don’t have enough time, money or compassion to give any away – I need it all for myself. Usually when I realize that I’m feeling this way, it isn’t long before I meet someone that has even less than me, and is freely sharing what they have with someone else. These are both humbling and inspiring moments for me.

  55. Lea says:

    The Vancouver Central Library inspires me. A library designed so beautifully and with such length of character. It is truly a refreshing day to be able to enjoy the great energy that is contained through the Roman-style towering design. Six floors of education in every form, surrounded by thriving minds. From the prairies, I am constantly thrilled to have access to such a great source, that is just so pleasing in the center of a beautiful city.

  56. CB says:

    I just came back from doing earthquake relief work in Haiti and what inspires me is how hopeful people are. How so many people have lost everything, yet they don’t feel sorry for themselves and they don’t complain, but they somehow find the strength within themselves to pick up the pieces and move forward. It is incredibly inspiring. And at first you volunteer to try to make a difference but at the end of the day you get so much more than you could ever give back. You learn to be grateful for what you have. You learn not to take things for granted. You learn to live in the present and enjoy every minute of every day. You are humbled by the generousity of those who have so little and have lost so much. And you make great friendships along the way. Volunteering your time to a great cause, not only on a global scale but also in your local communitiy, is truly an amazing experience… So for those of you who haven’t done it yet, what are you waiting for? Timeraiser sounds like a great first step! 🙂

  57. chico sousa says:

    I believe the future is in the hands of our children and our youth so let’s fill those hands with the knowledge and tools they need to contribute successfully to the future of our world.

    There are two organizations I have had the honor to volunteer with, the first is Room to Read that “believes that World Change Starts with Educated Children.” A few years ago we put on an amazing fundraiser event in the Vancouver Art Gallery.

    The other organization is Y.M.A.W., The Young Men’s Adventure Weekend Society with their vision of “creating healthy communities by building strong spirited young men who become great husbands, fathers and leaders.”

  58. Miranda says:

    My former house was my community of inspiration. When I first came to Vancouver, I was taken in by a beautiful community of vegans, freegans, hippies, artists, musicians, and gardeners. They changed the scope of my life, introduced me to modes of living I’d never encountered before, and opened my eyes to a lot of different things. I just left after four amazing years there but I know the community with live on and I feel privileged to have spent so much time there 🙂

  59. Adam says:

    I work for ATIRA Property Management and the main reason I came on board with the company is our parent organization, ATIRA Womens Resource Society.

    ATIRA has campaigned tirelessly for Aboriginal and womans rights. Running BRIDGE Housing for Women, as well as managing one of the largest portfolios of SROs in Metro Vancouver among countless other projects (The Painter Sisters, & Native Pharmacy for example)

    The sense of well being and accomplishment you get from helping someone less fortunate than yourself is a heart warming experience. It’s what keeps me coming back every day. Trying to make that one small change in one person’s life.

  60. Alex Cameron says:

    What inspires me most to be more socially conscious are my friends. The friends I have made recently have had a strong influence on my views towards community, charity and my impact on the world around me. Without these people whom I’ve only know for just over a year, I would still be far less sympathetic and far less engaged in my community. I know now that it’s important to be a part of my community and to do my part to make it better.

  61. Natalie M says:

    When I was a student at SFU, I slept on the street in downtown Vancouver for a night as part of the NoHome.ca campaign. I chatted with a young man that was homeless and his story helped change my perspective forever. He was physically abused at home by his father and at age 16 things got really bad – he felt that the streets were a safer option for him. The biggest problem he faced on the streets was the segregation from ‘normal’ society. He didn’t do drugs or drink but he said that he often had no one to talk to because of it – he said that “when you start talking with the crazy people you start to think you are one and that you don’t fit in with the rest of society anymore.” I realized in that moment how important not only to give money to organizations like Covenant House, but also to just offer a smile, a friendly hello, or to spend 10 minutes to share a conversation with someone.

  62. Christiane lopez says:

    My mother and I volunteer at “the door is open” in Vancouver and now I can’t wait to take my daughter down and teach her How to give back to society and appreciate all walks of life.

  63. Saranna says:

    My favourite charity is the Canucks Place – this is a place that I hope I never have to use personally – but I love to know that somewhere like it exists. They are such a great organization. You would expect the stories to be sad, but really it is about the hope and the memories and the celebration of life.

  64. Kym says:

    My best volunteer experience would have to be when I volunteered for Hurricane Katrina Relief and went to New Orleans 6 months after the hurricane. We were in charge of going into wrecked homes and removing all the remaining items left inside so that the homes could be demolished. It was heartbreaking to find things left in homes like wedding dresses, family portraits, a babies stuffed animal, etc. After doing that, we were able to meet families that became homeless – what a humbling experience that was. Though they were hugely affected by the hurricane, losing their homes, their things, and maybe even family members and friends, they still kept their heads held high and trusted that things would get better. They have inspired me to be thankful for everything and everyone I have in my life and to keep giving back to the community – you give your time but the experience you come out with is priceless.

  65. Donna says:

    I haven’t had the chance to volunteer much, but I’ve recently chosen to give back in another way: by donating blood. It’s not very glamorous and makes most people squeamish, but it’s essential. It’s why we are alive. I’ve not been the recipient of a blood transplant and neither has any of my loved ones, but this is one commodity that you can’t put a price on – life.

    It’s heartwarming realizing there is still compassion, altruism, and sincerity that can be shared by strangers through volunteering. We are so fortunate.

    PS. The cookies and juice the kind volunteers at Canadian Blood Services give you afterward is pretty gangsta too

  66. Melissa says:

    My friend Jenny Walker inspires me the most. I met her while teaching English in Korea. She was desperately trying to find somewhere to volunteer when she was finished her teaching contract. She didn’t want to pay to volunteer and didnt want to be paid, she just simply wanted to go and to help someone out. She went back to Nova Scotia and met a boy. Together they started a foundation called “Be the Change Project.” They began inspiring individuals to make positive changes in their lives, not just in their local community but on a global level as well. Through countless fund-raising methods in 2008 they opened Orkeeswa Secondary School in Tanzania. After spending some time in Tanzania Jenny enrolled herself in teachers college back in Halifax and will continue to inspire a whole new group of students. As a friend I admire Jenny so much for her countless selflessness and her genuine giving qualities.

  67. Brenda says:

    The people that inspire me most are living donors. To physically give up a part of yourself to save another human being is a selfless, personable and intimate act of generosity. I find that very moving, especially in this modern age. They inspired me to sign up for the bone marrow registry, and to register as an organ donor.

  68. Vanessa Tam says:

    My name is Vanessa and I am a cancer survivor.
    I often volunteer with Balding for Dollars as well as with Teen Adventures at the Vancouver Children’s Hospital. I really love giving back to the hospital that is, in a sense, responsible for my survival and my current happy and healthy life.

  69. Alice Zhou says:

    My favourite local charity are: Working Gear (help job seeking men with interview outfit), Dress For Success (help job seeking women with interview outfit), Multicultural Helping House (help new immigrants with settlement and employment support) and Servants Anonymous (Help young prostitutes get off the streets and back to normal life)

  70. Candice says:

    To be present, accountable, and look people in the eye.
    I love volunteering for beauty night-east side women’s shelter. Making women feel beautiful despite their backgrounds or life situation . Non- judgement is how we should all play the game of life. Leave the ego on the couch.

  71. Derek says:

    My favorite charity is International China concern; they work with the government of china providing care for physically and mentally disabled orphans.

  72. Beth says:

    The most challenging work I have ever done was volunteering with a Victim Services Unit. While it was very hard work, being able to offer even the tiniest bit of solace to families in a time of tragedy was reward enough. I only worked there for a brief time as I moved away for school, but the people who do that kind of work for a lifetime are amazingly inspirational people, imho.

  73. Bonnie says:

    I am inspired when I see people who are doing extraordinary things to promote awareness of important issues, such as the environment, which are often inexplicably ignored by our society. Two local Vancouverites named Grant and Jenny have been cycling across the country for the past few months and inspiring people to become more aware of the amount of waste our society generates through viewings of their film titled Clean Bin Project.

    In the Clean Bin Project, Grant and Jenny embarked on a year long challenge with one another to see who would create the least amount of garbage during that one year. The small amount of garbage each created at the end of the one year shows that when one person can make a difference when they make an effort towards an important issue. Their film has been inspiring so many people to make a positive change to work to make a conscious effort to create less waste. Their dedication and efforts are truly amazing, and it is hard not to be inspired by such people such as Grant and Jenny.

  74. Amanda Spear says:

    One of my favorite volunteer experiences was at one of the original Car Free Days on the Drive. I was one of the “Donation Fairies” and really went to town with my costume- blue wig and all. I teamed up with another volunteer for much of the day- putting on all sorts of random antics to make people laugh and enjoy. Watching especially the faces of young girls who think you are a really fairy or princess was just magic. I enjoyed myself so much and felt so connected to my community.

  75. Lori J says:

    I try to volunteer at least 3 times a year for different events/organizations and usually have my 16 year old nephew join me to show him how giving back to your comunity is not only rewarding but often you make new friends.
    Recently I volunteered by being a foster home for VOKRA for abandoned kitties – I was lucky enough to have 3 tiny brothers who were taken from their mom too early. The were timid, frightened and tramatized yet within a few days they started to trust me a settle in … in a very short time I fell in love and they took over my apt … they made me laugh so hard when they went crazy, playing, running, jumping for hours on end … such joy! I am now going to do this on a regular basis as hard as it is to give them up when you see how you have helped them trust,and they actually purr and cuddle and go to a caring family its worth a few scratches, bites and tears when they leave.
    Lori J

  76. Fawn Mulcahy says:

    My favorite not for profit group to volunteer with is A Loving Spoonful. The group of people that volunteer with “The Spoon” have so much heart….

  77. sue says:

    I work in the downtown eastside community, it’s a beautiful thing. People with little or none share whatever they have with each other,love, knowledge & support are my favourites. I love my job @ DEWC .

  78. Bethany Leng says:

    It is not only inspiring but also humbling when you are in a developing country doing outreach, and realize that the experience you are receiving from the locals is always greater than anything you could give them.

  79. Kathy says:

    Hmm..I volunteer a fair amount..it is hard to say which is a favorite as they all have something in particular..
    I think that any organization that helps children is a great one..after all they are a treasure and the future
    The boys and girls club has been around for years…what kid doesn’t have fond memories of going there after school? We all want to belong…there are great programs for fun and when a child needs an ear

  80. Victoria says:

    Timeraiser is such an amazing concept. Everybody wins!

  81. SIri Brown says:

    My current favourite non-profit is my workplace at CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Centre). I took a significant paycut to work here and couldn’t be happier! The staff is the most amazing group of people I have EVER worked with, and our clients are a constant reminder of how resilient and grateful human beings can be even when they have next to nothing – no home, no money, no food – but still have a kind word to say or the patience of a saint as they wait for 5 minutes of our time. I am inspired every workday and it has helped me to cultivate gratitude for the things I have in my own life, as well as compassion for my own struggles. My clients give to me as much as I to them, and I will be forever changed by my time at CMHA.

  82. Sarah Morris says:

    I am 5 weeks away from running my very first marathon and have been training for the last 5 months with Team in Training who raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada.
    When I first signed up with TNT I wanted to run the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco because a marathon was on my ‘list’ of things to do before the age of 30 and because there is a Tiffany & Co. finisher necklace! I wanted to raise money for a good cause too but it wasn’t my main motivation.
    5 months down the line I am so inspired by my team mates every time we run, sometimes it’s hard but we get each other through it and knowing that we are raising money for a fantastic cause makes the whole thing about something bigger than ourselves and achy legs become a minor thing.
    Each week before we run my team mates takes a turn to tell their mission moment, why they run. The stories inspire me every time – peoples loved ones lost to the disease, people living with the disease, people doing selfless acts like shaving their head to raise money – it all totally inspires me.
    I’m 37 days away from the race, I have raised almost $4000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and my experience with Team in Training has forever impacted what inspires me and I know I can run this marathon, running 26.2 miles is certainly not as hard as cancer.

  83. In the winter of 2008 I moved in with my girlfriend who was living with type 1 diabetes. I was not suprised by the number of tests or injections that type 1 diabetics must endure every day, but the staggering cost blew me away. If not for volunteers who work with the JDRF and assistance by Healthcare, we couldn’t possibly have coped and her health could have been in jeopardy.

    That girl inspires me to this day because despite her diabetes, she is the first one in line to volunteer around the city while preparing for her masters degree and working full time as a physical therapist. There are literally hundreds of children with Autism who owe a significant amount of their progress to her selfless donations of time, not to mention the child-athletes she’s coached and dancers she’s taught, all for no more compensation than the knowledge that her effort improved another’s life.

    She is a constant insiration to me and a major reason why I’m so excited about working with the Timeraiser organizations.

  84. I have volunteered in the art community for several years myself but what inspires me is the stamina, determination and commitment that other volunteers I have worked with have. Volunteers take the project, perfect it, nurture it and then see it to it’s conclusion. I learned so much!

  85. Stephanie Ip says:

    I believe in pouring into the next generation. I’m only 23 years old but even now, I can already see youth younger than me who are starting to grow into their place in the world. It’s important to remember where we came from and what we were once like and then to put your time and effort into building that up. If someone hadn’t told me I was a great leader at age 10, I wouldn’t be the person that I am today.

    I spend my weekends volunteering with Elevate Student Ministries. You can find more info at their website at http://www.elevaterichmond.com.

  86. Irene Monroe says:

    “Giving Back” is a way of expressing gratitude for being fortunate enough to be able to give back… volunteering for Victoria Hospice for the past 4 years has always put things in perspective for me – that the most important thing I can do is to be fully present for someone else; whether it is a patient, a nurse, a family member…. that the most important things in life aren’t things at all, but experiences like giving love, being present, truly seeing and listening to someone else. The giving becomes receiving and I have received so much.

  87. Hez says:

    Vancouver Coastal Health’s Street nurses who work in the Downtown Eastside do some of the most heart-wrenching front-line work I can imagine. Between basic triage to help get care for a dizzying variety of emergent mental and physical issues, to one-on-one counseling and basic health and safety for the hurting and forgotten people in Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, this is work that matters, work that humanizes an often stigmatized community, and work that makes my city a more compassionate and liveable place. I’m proud to know that an area doesn’t have to be gentrified to have value, and I’m glad someone is out there reminding homeless, mentally ill and drug addicted people that there is hope, help and a brighter future. Vancouver (and anywhere, really) becomes a better place for all of us to live when we open our hearts to our most fragile souls.

  88. Aidan says:

    Kids help phone inspires me! Growing up was really hard and resulted in some dark moments… If not for the caring support of KHP I may not be alive today. Thanks to their support when I was in need I now return my thanks through volunteering. Currently I’m working on expanding awareness for this organization in my home town chilliwack. Being a kid is more difficult then ever before I want every child to know there is someone there to listen and they are never alone. I’m passionate for this cause because I never want to think of another child having to experience what I have… And that’s what inspires me 🙂

  89. Richard Loat says:

    I’m a huge proponent of giving back to the community and helping where I can. This is why for 5 years I’ve dedicated my time to the West Vancouver SeaWalk Run and why I’ve started my own not for profit called Five Hole for Food. There are so many organizations out there that require hours of work from people and while they’re all great causes I think the most important thing when volunteering your time is to give it to an organization you strongly believe in. If the volunteer loves what they’re doing it makes their efforts and the experience a million times better.

  90. Rudy Kehler says:

    My favourite non-profit is http://educo.ca, an incredible summer experience for young people near 100MileHouse. Two of our children have attended, worked there and Maureen and I have volunteered there as well.
    Thanks for this opportunity to share info about this program.

  91. Marnie says:

    I live inspiration every day. I am the primary caregiver to my husband who lives courageously and outrageously with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Literally every day he, through his pain and crippling, reminds me how lucky we are to have eachother, our animals and our home on Vancouver Island. He reminds me that there is always someone else worse off … as he takes a half hour to bend his waist through unbearable pain. He inspires me to share the message and touch others with his magic.

  92. Ed says:

    I’ve volunteered many hours/years in the past tutoring school children at local elementary schools. It’s inspiring to see how many people are willing to give back to the communities where they came from.

  93. Helen says:

    One of my favourite non-profit organizations is Ride2Survive, an all-volunteer, grassroots organization started out of North Delta which has raised $1.2 million for the Canadian Cancer Society. Volunteers cycle 400 km in ONE DAY from Kelowna to North Delta annually to raise funds. Every cent of the proceeds goes directly to the cause. Riders cover all of their own costs. Donated food, supplies and equipment and many hours of volunteer work go into this ride every year to benefit Canadians fighting cancer.
    I’m very proud of my brother (a cancer survivor himself) who has participated in this event for the past two years, cycling in honor of our father who we lost to cancer 12 years ago. It’s a fantastic organization. Check ’em out http://ride2survive.ca

  94. Scott Okrainetz says:

    I have always been a strong supporter of cancer research as I’ve lost so many family members to a variety of cancers including my father. My favourite charity I’ve been involved in as the Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock bicycle ride on Vancouver Island. I’ve shaved my head twice for the cause and worked to support so many other charity events associated with the event. I greatly appreciate all the work and time in training that the riders put in to train for this epic journey all over the island, it means so much to me and my family!

  95. My favourite chrity and community event that I’ve been involved in would have to be Tour de Rock. This year we (Spa Sirona in Victoria) teamed up with the Tour de Rock group, and held our own community fundraiser – by giving chair massages, waxing, painting Tour de Rock daisies on fingers and toes, and selling dozens of home made brownies, we managed to raise over $1,200.00. It’s such a wonderful cause to help send kids to camp, and I’m always amazed at the depth of community support for these events.

  96. Karen says:

    My favourite personal non-profit experience to date is definitely the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath. I cycled in the trek in 2008 and 2009 and it inspired *me* to take on the challenge of riding 200km in two days. More importantly, though, the even is inspirational because it rallies a great group of people together to raise money for a wonderful cause: The BC Lung Association.

  97. kylie says:

    I was a client of Burnaby family life for years. They helped me when I went through depression, helped me raised my kids in many ways. They make me feel I’m capable of many things. And now I really want to help other woman , especially pregant woman that under depression, as much as I can!

  98. Di says:

    I’m a big fan of YouthCO AIDS Society, and Options for Sexual Health. Both groups work to provide sexual health knowledge and resources to the general public, and particularly target youth, which I definitely think is absolutely necessary. And they do a fantastic job of it!

  99. fmc says:

    Charity that holds a special place in my heart is SOS Children’s Villages who help neglected and abandoned children and orphans. They operate around the world and help children in developing as well as developed countries. They do such an amazing job helping those that cannot help themselves.

  100. Carissa Kasper says:

    Kiva.org is an amazing charity and inspiration. It provides small micro business loans to people in third world countries to allow them a hand up to continue their success and inspire and encourage creativity and entrepreneurship.

  101. Before I was born, my parent’s lived in rural Brazil working for Mennonite Central Committee, a NGO that provides relief for countries in crisis across the world, including our own. Following that experience my parent’s truly embodied the principle of “living simply so that others may simply live.” While My religious views today are different than those of my parents, the core beliefs of Mennonite Central Committee have stayed with me into my adulthood and will long be with me as I raise children. MCC strives to work with the communities and their governments for sustainable living by means possible in that part of the world. Long before being eco-friendly was in vogue, MCC released cookbooks on the principles of “More With Less” and “Extending the Table”. Peace and justice, food, water, education and natural disaster relief around the world are just some of the ways this organization touches people’s lives.

    “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me into your home”

  102. As a collaborative based theatre artist, it is truly inspiring to me to be a part of a dedicated volunteer community who believe in cultivating a supportive and interconnected society rich in opportunities for anyone, no matter who they are or what their background. I am grateful and proud to be amoung such good-hearted spirits.

  103. Anita says:

    It’s hard to sum up what truly inspires me, but I’ll do my best. One non-profit organization that I believe is making a difference is Buckner Orphan Care International. Several years ago, I had the privilege of traveling with them to Russia to visit orphanages and deliver shoes (and other supplies) through their “Shoes for Orphan Souls” program. The looks on the orphans’ faces when they saw all of the Americans who had traveled halfway around the world to come see them was priceless. One little girl (about 5 or 6 years old) clung to me and wouldn’t let go. I just kept stroking her hair and whispering to her and singing to her. I don’t know how much she could understand, but neither one of us wanted to let go. We both ended up with tears in our eyes before we eventually had to ‘sever’ our embrace. I wish there would’ve been a way I could take her home with me, but adoption isn’t as simple as that… especially when considering international adoption. To this day, I remember her face and the faces of many other children like her… longing for human compassion and care. Thanks for the chance to share my story. 🙂

  104. Ine says:

    I’m from Europe and one thing’s for sure: Europeans don’t really know what it’s like to volunteer, support a charity or do something for the less fortunate in the community. Obviously there’s places where people participate, but not to the same extend as in Canada, more specific the West Coast.

    When I first got here, I started with donating some money when I was grocery shopping. But when I saw all the people volunteering to help a good cause, people who run for cancer,… that’s when I truly got inspired to help out.

    I first started with volunteering for Bear Aware. Not only does it help animals, but it helps people as well!
    I’m also volunteering in my community and I’ve now taken over the active lifestyle of people in the Vancouver Area, I’ve started running. My goal is to participate in several runs to be able to help raise awareness and money.

    So if you think that volunteering only helps other people, you’re wrong, on top of that you can also help yourself to live a healthier life and adjust your lifestyle (and all of that while helping people)!

  105. Constance says:

    I just returned to school (full-time(, in hopes of improving my chances for a better job. I last attended college over 10 years ago, so this has been quite a journey. My ex-hubby, and I divorced some years ago, and I was then left with the daunting challenge of raising seven children. GOD gave me the strength to do so, and for this I am very thankful. Several of my children, and grandchildren live in different states, and I have not been able to afford to visit them. I feel bad about this, because after all, I am their mother, so I should be able to do these things with no problem. I have been unemployed for over a year now, and it has become very hard for my family and me. Wining would at least help me to feel better about my situation, because I would be doing something without their help. Thanks so much for hosting this contest! :0)

  106. Amy says:

    I work at a non-profit that raises money for Children with Disabilities and it’s so rewarding to see the lives we affect. I love to volunteer with other charities and am so happy when I see so many others that want to lend a hand and make a difference.

  107. Amanda says:

    Girl Guides of Canada inspires me. I have been with the organization for 24 years (and I am only 30 – do the math). It has provided me with opportunities that would not typically be available to a young girl growing up in a remote town in BC (Gibsons – ok – maybe not so remote, but rural).

    It made me the woman I am today. It is my passion to inspire young girls and foster a sense of comradery.

  108. Ian yeung says:

    The thing or should I say things that inspired me the most is when doctors who after so many years of schooling and debt to pay off and a lot of them will still fly to Africa or places in poverty and aid to those in need. I’m always in awe of people with such passion and the ability to put money behind and focus on the most important thing; to improve others lives with our fortune. I some day hope I can acheive what many doctors can achieve and am currently in my third year studies at UBC studying psychology. Maybe one day I can help those in need.

  109. Memorable. Amazing. Eye-opening. Exhausting. Awesome. These are just some of the words that immediately come to mind to describe the Bulacan Community Project by the Enspire Foundation (www.enspireme.org) in May of 2009. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. The sentiment I felt as I first got on the bus while eating a Jollibee lunch in the Philippines was a burst of excitement of the adventures to come. Walking in the slum areas of Navotas was uncomfortable at first but I was later on captivated by the noises of children laughing and singing that flowed through my ears. They are naturally labeled as “poor” because of their shelters that are supported by stilts so they wouldn’t sink in the water, and because of their torn shirts and shorts and broken slippers and skinny frames. Although financially they may struggle, they are rich with contentment. They are a community that values family and togetherness. The atmosphere in the village was lively and enthusiastic, and it left me with a strong impression that these people truly appreciate the simple things in life.

    The bulk of our project was of course the house building in Norzagaray. The work, which I thought was menial for a normal construction worker’s standards, was very exhausting for us volunteers, especially under the hot scorching sun. We formed assembly lines, laid bricks, mixed cement, dug, moved, and sifted dirt, etc.

    This was the most inspiring experience of my life. The value of this experience was for us volunteers to see firsthand the living conditions at a developing area and use this newfound awareness to make a positive impact in our communities, beyond just building homes.

  110. Sarah says:

    After attending the Ovarian Cancer luncheon last week (where $300,000 was raised for Ovarian Cancer Canada) at the Vancouver Convention Center and hearing Virginia Greene speak about her fight against this vicious cancer, I have come to realize that the work she is doing (along with many other Vancouver community leaders) to raise awareness in this area is invaluable for women everywhere.

  111. sk says:

    my long-time girlfriend inspires me! and i wanna use the prize to take a trip w/ her. lots of great options w/ westjet!!

  112. Brenda says:

    One of my favourite non-profit organizations is Samaritan’s Purse Canada who sends boxes of supplies to needy children around the world during the holiday season. I love putting together boxes to send, providing a box full of school supplies, toys, and most importantly, a message of hope and love.

  113. Kim Aubert says:

    I work for the Canadian Cancer Society and it’s incredibly rewarding to be involved in a cause that helps so many people living with cancer. I believe in this cause so much that I also volunteer my time at various CCS events and I have a lot of fun doing it!

  114. Devon says:

    After thinking about this for a few days I realized that I am most inspired when sharing food, when cooking, eating, talking, and listening, with good friends. It brings out a better me, and I find the lasting energy it gives me exhilarating.

  115. Deborah Chatterton says:

    Volunteering is a rewarding way to give back to your community and expand your horizons. I’ve been volunteering for years and I love it.

    I’ve been fortunate to have been given some amazing volunteer opportunities. When sorting and packaging food at the Food Bank, I was amazed at the sheer volume of food, which speaks volumes about how much need there is even in a rich society like ours. When serving lunch at Union Gospel Mission and the Salvation Army, I was saddened to see children and elderly people in the lineup, and cheered when I saw how these places operate like well-oiled machines. Through the CNIB, I once assisted a blind woman with basic chores, and have never forgotten her comment that she would cry a bucketful of tears if she thought it would help, but that since it wouldn’t, she was making the best of things and getting on with her life.

    I’m a Communications Consultant at Vancity, a credit union that works closely with not-for-profit organizations and social enterprises, and my job gives me a window into the valuable work such organizations perform every day in Vancouver. Many of these organizations rely heavily on volunteers and it is heart-warming that so many people step up.

    Recently I’ve been volunteering my communications skills with various organizations, such as the David Suzuki Foundation. I’ve also volunteered as a mentor through the Canadian Public Relations Society, so that I can contribute to the future of my profession.

    Provided you choose an opportunity that suits you, I can’t recommend volunteering enough as a way to both give and receive happiness, meet new people, learn something new, build your portfolio and your network, and do something worthwhile for the world.

    And as much as I’d love to win the WestJet tickets, it’s been great just to have this opportunity to promote volunteering. Thanks!

  116. Margaret says:

    I’m inspired by two volunteering opportunities that I try and participate in each year. I am first inspired by all the kids and the people who put such hard work into helping sick kids with the BC Children’s Hospital Childrun. Watching elementary aged kids show up with bags of cash and change that they have collected throughout the year to help other kids is always inspirational.

    I am also inspired by the participants in the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Hearing the stories of those women who have fought or are still fighting gives me hope for those that I know who are in that position. I also draw strength from the stories of those who have lost their fights, stories which are so lovingly told by family and friends who carry the spirit of their loved ones in everything they do.

    These women, children, families, friends and caring strangers inspire me to live my life to the fullest and to continue volunteering and helping in any way I can!

  117. Abigail says:

    WOW!! I am siting here grinning from ear to ear as I read all these posts…. I’m not sure I can choose one thing that inspires me, so I’ll tell you a few.

    EVERYONE who has written here – everything you do to make not only Vancouver, but the world a better place it’s truly awesome to see, the different things and ways to make a change.

    I have a “buddy” Ron who hangs out in front of London Drugs on Robson and wishes everyone “have a nice day” perhaps you know him? Ron always makes me smile. Tells me whats going on with him, shows me his new white shoes, his new coat that doesn’t have pigeon s**t on it… yet! I tell him my job stinks, he asks me when I’m quitting. He brightens my day.

    The 4 year old girl I read about in the Globe and Mail today..Aleisha Hunter, shes fighting Breast Cancer (her”ouchy” disease) Asking people in the Walk To End Womens Cancers”Do you have the same cut as me?” She is inspiring.

    The old war vet handing out poppies on Robson and Hornby last year. I really didn’t need a coffee at Cafe Artigiano that day. All I needed was a beautiful red flower, to remember.

    My family – who all participates in the “Run for the Cure” year after year after year. In support of not only everyone we know who has been affected by cancer but also my Mom who is a survivor.

    This is already too long.
    Thanks to all

  118. Tim says:

    My favourite non-profit organization is the Canucks Place. I am inspired by how giving the players are of their time and the things they do for the community. Despite being wealthy professional athletes, they are humble and kind people who will help those in less fortunate circumstances. Most of the members of the Canucks can be people that we look up to and aspire to be like.

  119. Alison Lim says:

    There are so many worthy non-profits in this city. One that I’ve worked with is the Crossroads Hospice Society. Hopefully most of us will not need a service like this anytime soon, however, for those that have had to deal with the death or end of life of a loved one, know that this process can be a very painful and drawn out experience. Most of us don’t imagine our last days in an impersonal hospital room and the logistics of dying at home are more than most people realise. Hospice care is the next best thing without all of the emotional ties to a home death.

    There are so many amazing charities that help us prolong life by raising funds to find cures, but the reality is that some people don’t make it and this is a reality often looked over.

    For the people that have to use the hospice it is a much needed place to call home where family and friends can visit and help to celebrate the life that has already happened rather than dwell on the sadness that is about to ensue.

  120. Blair Smith says:

    I’m a board member for the non profit organization named CLICK (Contributing to the Lives of Inner City Kids http://www.clicktokids.ca). We fund and support kids programs mainly within the downtown core and around East Vancouver. I’m proud of organization because all of our board are volunteer and our only goal is to help children in need. I’m proud to say our efforts help disadvantaged kids but sad to say there is almost 2 in 5 BC kids living in poverty. Those children deserve a better life and through CLICK funding we try and ease the pain of poverty.

  121. Victor says:

    It’s difficult not to be subjective as I work full-time for a non-profit myself (the Developmental Disabilities Association), but I am very inspired by the people my association supports.

    People with special needs are constantly neglected, disparaged, and misunderstood. Many people fail to look past the individual disability of a person and see all the other abilities a person might have. People with developmental disabilities are marginalized, and are given the least attention to by the public and by the government. Government consistently makes pledges to focus on healthcare and education, as they effect almost everybody; however, the government also consistently manages to reduce budgets and slash programs for people with developmental disabilities. The estimated wait-list for programs and group homes for people with developmental disabilities is 10 years long and is still growing! Still, people with developmental disabilities manage to persevere, wait, and endure the ostracisation and stigma by the public and by the government. How can someone not be inspired by the will of a person with a developmental disability? To smile in the face of a challenge, to patiently wait for the unknown, and to endure all difficulties facing him or her; those are the virtues that embody many of the people we support at the Developmental Disabilities Association, and it is those same people with those virtues who inspire me to not only work where I work, but also to face challenges the same way they do.

    That is an inspiration.

  122. Diane says:

    To me, the most inspiring people are the ones who are generous with the people around them who are in need, without requiring an organization to tell them how to help out. It can take courage to get involved in the lives of people you are already in contact with, and it doesn’t get noticed the way an official volunteer position might be, but if everyone could help their neighbour we would have a much better community overall.

  123. Ria says:

    I am inspired all the time by the power and ability that we as humans have to create our own reality. Humans make huge buildings, bridges and machines, humans find the ways around the problem and still continue forward, humans come together and smile even when life seems to be hitting hardest and humans want to help other humans smile and achieve a greater happiness.

    No matter the age, race, gender or nationality, humans of all walks inspire me to be a better, more thankful human.

  124. Ella M. says:

    This is my second year participating in Timeraiser as an artist and I think it is one of the best artistic opportunities in the city. It is such a privilege to be paid a fair price for my work, meet all sorts of interesting people, and see my art motivate people to give their time to a cause they care about.

  125. A.J. says:

    I find that I am most inspired by the volunteers at the vancouver aquarium marine science centre and their selfless devotion to a treasured vancouver landmark!

  126. stephanie says:

    thanks or no thanks, there is no greater feeling than the feeling you get knowing you made a positive difference in someone else’s life

  127. […] you haven’t already done so, be sure to enter the Miss604 Timeraiser contest for your chance to win a pair of tickets anywhere WestJet flies.  The contest […]

  128. Thomas Marshall says:

    My favourite charity is Canuck Place, I an inspired by their work to helping children with life threatening illnesses embrace life.

  129. Katie says:

    I co-chair Y.E.S! Vancouver, one of the fundraising, networking, and volunteer arms of Dress for Success Vancouver. This ia a group of extraordinary women who are established in their careers and are seeking an opportunity to not only connect with like-minded women in their community, but also to help less advantaged women to re-enter the workforce with confidence with the help of DFS. It is an organization that was founded by two local Vancouverites and I am proud to carry their torch now as co-chair. To date we have reaised over $60,000.00 for DFS, with a support base of over 150 active members. We are completely volunteer run and all proceeds go directly to DFS. It’s a cause that is very close to my heart and one that I am incredibly proud to be associated with.

  130. Leanne says:

    I’m a karma person. It’s exciting to be a part of something that has the power to help others and give back to the universe.

  131. Meaghan Rafferty says:

    Over the years I’ve volunteered for many organizations in many different cities. I’ve volunteered at a hospital, where I read to and played with sick kids; a daycare, where I helped out after-schoolers with homework; a radio station, where I wrote/read news briefs and helped out with special events. Most recently I’ve been volunteering for the North Vancouver Museum and Archives, in an effort to help input items into the new database.

    No matter where I live, volunteering has helped me to connect with my community, and enabled me to not only get to know and help the people who live around me, but myself too!

    All the volunteers out there are an inspiration to me 🙂

  132. Ray Kanani says:

    With so many marketing messages in our lives telling us that the way to happiness is through material goods, it is difficult to realize that giving back is what makes us most happy.

    I don’t view volunteering as a selfless act, because I feel I always get more out of it than the people I am helping.

    When I volunteer my time, I am always inspired by those I am helping.

  133. Tanis says:

    My favorite charity is the Cancer Society. I donate every year and it’s a charity that hits close to home as my mother died from cancer when I was young, which was 10 years after her brother died from cancer.

    I also like to support events such as the Run For The Cure, Terry Fox Run, etc. that are local, annual events in my community. They need all the help they can get and I’m happy to do what I can.

    Cancer affects everyone, unfortunately, and something needs to be done in order to find a cure.

  134. Jennifer Robyn says:

    As a student at Capilano University in the Global Stewardship program, I am inspired every day by my fantastic group of teachers and peers. Being constantly surrounded by people who strive to make this world a better place is more then I ever could have asked for. This program was started several years ago by a professor who thought that volunteerism, community development, and formal education could go hand in hand in a University degree. Thus, the Global Stewardship program was born. Through this program, I would estimate that over 10,000 volunteer hours have collectivly been accumulated.

    I am currently in my second year of this program and have so far completed over eighty hours of volunteer work with a locally based charity that engages in developmental work overseas. Several years before my school enrollment, I travelled independently to Guatemala to volunteer at a women’s shelter in Quetzeltenango, and have also volunteered in Varanasi, India. All of these expereiences have inspired me to be the best I can, and to incorporate volunteerism into my everyday life.

    Because of my envolvement in school, my eyes are always being opened to the many opportunities out there for people who want to help. Timeraisers sounds like a truly amazing event! I will be seeking a new volunteer position for this term and look forward to donating as much time as possible. Thank you for continuing to inspire!!!

  135. Paul says:

    My favorite charity is the BC SPCA. The work that they do for all animals in the province of BC is inspiring and overwhelming. From Animal Adoption services to emergency animal hospital health care services to stopping annimal cruelty, and shutting down puppy mills this is one organization that literally is the voice for domestic and wild animals across the province.

    I am thrilled to support the BC SPCA through my volunteer efforts and through my financial support. I am truly inspired!!!!

  136. Mary Zinck says:

    My favorite charity is WAG – Whistler Animals Galore, no-kill shelter. My own furry boy was a rescue I adopted from there. They dedication of their staff and volunteers always amazes me.

  137. Becky says:

    Last year, along with two classmates, we created this PSA video for West Coast LEAF. I love everything they stand for, and their message of equality. That’s where the concept for this video came from. It’s only a minute long, so check it out!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9Hf4vjTPr4

  138. I am the volunteer coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of BC & YK. We couldn’t do all we do without our 150 dedicated volunteers. The heart and soul they put toward granting wishes and fund raising for us is inspiring. Im proud to work with each and every one of them.

  139. Tiffany says:

    I still remember the day that I met my Little Sister and that was 12 years ago! Today, as an alumni volunteer and counsellor with Big Sisters, I see daily the impact that positive female role models have in the lives of young girls. It is the dedicated and selfless support of our volunteers that makes Big Sisters such a success.

  140. EDDY says:

    I am inspired by people. People are the greatest resource for knowledge in the world. There is something to be learned from every single person I meet, because every person out there knows something that I don’t know and can do something better than I can. So it’s important to learn from others, listen when they speak, think about what they say, and let them spark a thought, an idea, a different view, or a feeling.

  141. Val says:

    I have a great local group I volunteer with and we basically guerilla garden within our community, turning wasted spaces into gardens and plantings. The key thing for me is volunteering is about finding joy in what you do – because if there’s no joy then it becomes work, and I already have a job.

  142. Shirley says:

    What inspires me is out of the box thinking…and then applying that thinking to make a meaningful difference in the community. These are just three that are top of mind as I type this:

    1) Vancity’s ChangeEverything project: older but still relevant
    2) Causes figuring it out that people want to give (time + money) and then figuring out EASY ways for them to do it ie. Texting $5 for Haiti relief. You just can’t say no to that…
    3) Preventable.ca: they seem to get it.

    And then there’s http://www.timeraiser.ca...

  143. Lori says:

    My mom inspires me. She has volunteered with our local hospice for years, comforting the dying and their loved ones, giving them peace.

  144. Jocelyn says:

    I am inspired by people who do what they love. Who defy societal expectations of ‘success’ and ‘careers’. They don’t ‘climb the ladder’ but build a ladder that suits their passion, needs and life style. For some, like myself, this is a difficult mind-adjustment but I am continually inspired by those who manage to overcome obstacles/expectations and just make it work!

  145. Sandra says:

    I’ve done a fair amount of volunteering in my life, and it truly does give you something back while giving the world a piece of yourself.

    I’m a cycling instructor and earlier this summer I volunteered to lead a group of 30 Grade 7 students on a cycling/camping trip to Saltspring Island for 4 days. Most of these kids were new to cycling and a fair number of them had never even been camping before!

    It was amazing to see them working together in their groups to figure out their cook stoves and pushing themselves that extra bit to make it up the hills without stopping. The kids got a whole new sense of how to move about in the world, how to do things for themselves, and how to respect and enjoy nature.

    It was an incredible experience and gave me far more than a paycheque could have. In the words of Winston Churchill: ‘You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.’

  146. PING says:

    I volunteered at the geriatric ward one summer and wow, these people have so many awe inspring stories to tell! IT’s amazing how you can judge a book by it’s cover.

  147. I think Habitat for Humanity is really inspiring.

    There’s nothing more important than having a place in the world, and whenever I see people getting homes they no longer need to worry about, that’s heart-melting.

    And TimeRaiser is a brilliant idea. Very inspiring, it’s great to see WestJet behind such causes.

  148. |Linda says:

    I have been inspired by many, many organizations; from Lion’s Club, that my family has been devoted to for years, to Scout’s Canada, that I have been a leader and have watched my son develop many leadership qualities, to TheUnited Way, which a friend of mine devoted all of her time to, to the Cancer Society that I have begged donations in my neighbourhood, helped run for the cure, supported the Terry Fox run and bought daffidils, to…the breakfast club at the school that I teach in…To say that one is better than the rest,I cannot…Currently I am watching young students become young leaders through “Me to We”, and watching my partner’s sadness in not being able to donate to Canadian Blood Services over 50 donations of blood (due to a heart attack). To pick one is hard. I say, put them in a hat and all is fair.

  149. Gazza says:

    I was inspired by the generosity of the golfers & sponsors that supported our annual Rotary Fall Classic golf tournament at Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club yesterday. It was an absolutely wonderful day and it’s estimated we raised over $40,000 for charities in the Tri-City area.

  150. Jane says:

    One of the local organizations that I’ve been privileged to be involved with is the West Side Family Place. They provide a meeting place for parents and children to come together in a safe and welcoming environment that fosters a sense of community while providing resources to families that include, but are not limited to, nutrition counseling, parenting courses, a toy lending library, cpr and first-aid training, a large indoor playroom, and an enclosed outdoor playground. I think the staff and volunteers at this amazing organization provide a much needed resource for the community.

    They will be having their 5th Annual fund-raising auction on October 14th. Check them out: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/event.php?eid=155945217750111&ref=mf

    Or, at their website: http://www3.telus.net/wsfp/index.html

  151. Dom says:

    I was raised in Montreal, and started traveling since I was 17. When I arrived BC 15 years ago, I couldn’t speak a word in English. It’s fun but it was really a hard time. Luckily I got a lot help along the way. That was what inspired me to volunteer in UBC Learning Exchange (http://www.learningexchange.ubc.ca/) as a English facilitator. Teaching English to those new comers is not only my way of saying Thank you to people tha helped me, but also a better way to help new immigrants get a good start. At lease I know for sure, they could try to get a job or a better life with the tool of language. And for myself, I know I’m doing good by paying it forward. Little by little, we make this place better everyday, that’s how important it is.

  152. Anisha Padamshi says:

    This past Winter I was in Moshi, Tanzania visiting a Seva Canada sponsored initiative. Seva Canada works to restore eye sight and prevent blindness in the developing world. They provide funding and support to partners in seven principal regions: Nepal, Tibet, India, Tanzania and eastern Africa, Guatemala, Cambodia and Egypt, to reach out to individuals that are the most vulnerable (women, children, people living in rural areas). Seva’s goal through supporting its partners in the above areas is to create sustainable eye care programs at a local level.

    In February I was fortunate to visit the Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), in Moshi, Tanzania. KCCO is a training centre for community ophthalmology committed to reducing blindness. The centre provides training to ophthalmology residents, medical officers, and nurses. Over the years it has expanded and established a number of other community based programs. One in particular that I was able to witness first hand was a program where women reached out to other women. Local village women, in coordination with KCCO, work as ambassadors of their village to discuss with and council other women about eye restorative procedures. It is these women that are most vulnerable to further complications and are hesitant to seek help. I was so moved by the passion that these female village ambassadors had to reach out to other women.

    I can not fathom not being able to see completely or at all for that matter. I am very much inspired by Seva Canada’s dedication to fight and prevent blindness amongst populations around the world.

    http://www.seva.ca/default.htm

  153. Marta Baryla says:

    Volunteering as an Elephant Care Intern at Riddle’s Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary in Arkansas, USA,for five weeks was by far my most amazing experience. My passion and love for animals and travelling inspired me to devote my time to help take care of African and Asian elephants in captivity. I was in awe at the commitment and care the owners and staff of the sanctuary bestowed on the elephants. I knew that without the attention and passion of a few individuals, the well being and existence of the elephants would be compromised. I realized during my internship that I wanted to help animals in need and, therefore, I ended up going to school for Animal Health Technology. As a veterinary nurse, I am able to apply my skills and knowledge in a most benefical way: providing medical assistance to sick and/or injured animals who are not able to help themselves. Volunteering rocks!!

  154. Nick says:

    I can’t help feeling good every morning when I get up and head off to work! For the past year and a half, I’ve been working and volunteering for two local Vancouver non-profits, the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and Pedal Energy Developmental Alternatives. Everyday, I try to promote and educate youth and adults on alternative modes of transportation.

    I want people to realize the personal and communal health benefits when they ride their bike, skateboard, or take public transit to work, school or just out to get some groceries. Doing positive work like this keeps me and my community motivated, I love spreading a great message. Volunteering and donating to a non-profit and/or charity is a great way to connect yourself to this optimistic world. Events like ‘TimeRaiser’ are a great way to link to these organizations and to see a small part of a larger movement that is happening internationally. I recommend to everyone, to find an organization that is aligned with your values, and see what a huge difference a small amount of your help will do.

  155. Leah says:

    I am inspired by volunteers who dedicate their time, savvy sales skills, and enthusiasm to the Canucks 50/50 Ticket Program each season in support of the Canucks for Kids Fund. As a previous program coordinator for 3 years I had the privilege of working with these amazing and relentless volunteers. During the 2009 season, staff worked with over 1000 volunteers and the program brought in over $2.7 million dollars, half of which went to the support Canuck Place, the largest freestanding children’s hospice in North America.

    What makes the work of these volunteers personally inspirational to me is that just over a year ago a close family friend passed away from a childhood cancer and spent his last few days at Canuck Place in the care and comfort of doctors and nurses in a peaceful setting, outside of a hospital. This experience made me personally realize the tremendous impact of volunteers, and volunteer driven organizations. Thank you volunteers!

  156. Elena Beveridge says:

    I volunteer my time with the Terry Fox Foundation because cancer affects all of us, no matter your age, ethnicity or gender. The charity has raised half a billion and is now in it’s 30th year, so we know that a foundation’s grass-roots approach really works and has made a lasting difference. The two reasons why I support Terry Fox are:

    1) 87 cents of every dollar goes directly to cancer research unlike most charities that are heavy on admin. fees and only donate 45-55 cents.

    2) You can run, walk, wheel or ride and it’s not about ability but participation and taking action.

    Yesterday we saw 54 volunteers, 314 runners and together raised $15,843.88. Just as Terry had dreamed every Canadian would donate $1 towards cancer research, 10,000 Whistler residents surpassed that goal and I couldn’t be more proud.

  157. Jen says:

    I’m most inspired by the Kiva lending program. It’s inspiring to me to see that not only can a little bit contributed by lots of people really make a difference in an individual or family’s life, but to see the rewarding process of people bootstrapping their lives with a little help from around the globe.

  158. I am always inspired by artists who find a way to make a living doing what they love best.

    If only everyone could be so fortunate to love what they do, day in and day out!

  159. Kay says:

    Inspiration is everywhere – but as a parent who is lucky enough to have a partner, I must say that my hats are off to Single Parents.

    I find it hard enough to juggle work (where I want to succeed), young kids (who hold my heart), my partner (who holds my hand), my birth family (who love me no matter what), my friends (whom I never get to connect with) and my own personal needs (remember when I went to the gym?) much less having to do all of this alone. These single parents inspire me to do more with the more I have – a partner to share the joys, the fears, and the pressures of parenthood.

  160. Amber B says:

    I love giving back to the community -and feel as though it is something that I will always continue to do. I’ve supported charities with Auctions myself including the Dream Dress Auction, Hearts for Haiti and an upcoming event in November for Aids Vancouver.

    Perhaps it makes a part of who I am -when I get to be involved and a part of something greater-where there is true need!

  161. Marlis says:

    There’s so much more to volunteering than giving some time or money… there’s always so much you gain by doing it!

    I learned so much my volunteer time teaching simple English phrases to Congolese and Liberian refugees ten years ago that I still have the desire to volunteer, help someone in need and learn from them too.

  162. Dana says:

    I’m inspired by the large number of the possibilities for involvement in the community, which reflects the number of people who want to make positive change.

  163. Nora Kelly says:

    It’s as simple as putting into action what you believe. I live a fortunate life and lifestyle and believe that others should have similar opportunities. It is up to all of us to level the playing field.

  164. Alexandra H says:

    What inspires me most is nature and the world we take for granted every single day. In saying this I hope to continue volunteering for non-profit organizations whose sole purpose is to minimize our impact on this earth. Global warming in particular strikes a nerve for me as I am an avid snowboarder and love a good, snowy winter.

    POW (Protect Our Winters) is the environmental centre point of the winter sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change and its effects on winter sports and mountain communities. Having lived in Whistler for over three years, I can relate to this. My one wish is that my children, as well as my children’s children are all able to experience and enjoy winter the way I am so fortunate to every single year; this is no small feat.

    I encourage everyone who visits miss604 to feel inspired to do what they can to reduce their impact on our environment! Every little bit counts.

  165. Dave says:

    I’m most inspired by the pure feeling of giving without the expectation of reciprocation.

  166. Sonia Ejtehadian says:

    For as long as I can remember, community involvement/service has also always been a priority for me.
    For instance, in my high school, I volunteered to become a Grad Council member. Within a one-year span, our intimate team devoted over a 100 hours in community service. In particular, we were in charge of planning, promoting, and executing a wide range of activities including the Grad boat cruise, prom, grad blood drive, and so on. As a result of our dedication, passion and hard-work, we were awarded Outstanding Youth Team Award through the City of North Vancouver in June, 2006.
    In addition, in the preceding year, while I was in grade 11, I was invited to volunteer for the 2005 City of North Vancouver’s Children and Youth Initiatives Grant Review Committee (where myself and four other participants, analyzed and granted funding for various not-for-profit organizations based on their achievements and public service output. Following this involvement, I also received a personal letter of recognition and appreciation from Ms. Sandra E. Dowey, the City Clerk of North Vancouver.
    Even though I do not have as much time as I used to now that I am a university student, I still make it my mission and priority to give back to the greater SFU community and beyond by volunteering in the Simon Fraser University Iranian Club as a Communication Director. My involvement with the club which revolves around helping to promote the Iranian culture through a wide array of social, cultural, and academic events has been quite fulfilling and rewarding for me. Not only have we been successful in enhancing the interest and participation of Iranian/Canadian students in the association but we have also been able to attract the attention and involvement of our non-Iranian colleagues.

  167. Jen says:

    One of my inspirations came from my volunteer work with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. It is an annual event and places all across Canada participated this month! It is such a great feeling to get out to our local beaches and do some cleaning up with others that are just as passionate about the environment. It was amazing to see how much garbage is hidden around our waters though, one of the biggest pieces of garbage I found was about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, it looked like a chunk off a boat. Lots of cigarette butts, plastic and metal was found as well. Every time I go for a walk to the beach now, I pick up a few pieces of garbage, just to try and keep it clean and hopefully discourage others from littering our beaches!

  168. Melissa Fulton says:

    I volunteer at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre a few hours a week. The volunteer team does a tremendous job of preparing and serving hot meals to over 300 women in need every lunch hour. What I find most inspiring about the experience is the volunteer team – we are made up of an eclectic group of women from both inside and outside of the downtown eastside community. Some are women that were once in a less fortunate situation that are now giving back, while others (like myself) simply care to provide support to those that need it, and hopefully develop a better understanding of the hardships that face women in this community. It simply can’t be ignored.

  169. AJ says:

    My inspiration comes from my grandparents who are in their 80’s, living on a remote BC island and are still growing their own food, building additions to their home and working extremely hard to keep healthy and have pride in what they do each day. I often visit them to help out in their projects and when I am not there, I help out seniors in my community. I love seeing how determined people are to maintain their independence and keep doing things for themselves, but sometimes people do need an extra hand and that is where I come in. The older generation takes a lot of pride in what they do and where they came from, and value things on a deeper level than younger generations do these days. And I tend to take more of a look at things when I spend time with seniors, they have taught me to work hard, appreciate what I have and things do not always come instantaneously! I think a lot of people could benefit from spending more time with seniors, getting to know them, how hard they have worked and getting inspired from their stories and wisdom!

  170. Sara G says:

    ” Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”.

    -Oscar Wilde

  171. Marisa says:

    I’ve volunteered for a variety of non-profit organizations and there is one thing they all have in common, one thing that continues to inspire me to do more. Each non-profit has a team of dedicated aw-inspiring people that will do anything to help. Some of these people are paid and some are simply volunteers, but they all care the same. They work harder than most employees at any large organization. They push any and all envelopes they can find to see those non-profits grow and further beenfit their community. I can’t begin to list the people that I’ve met along the way that make me want to do the same. They’re the reason I want help in any way I can to help those less fortunate, humans and animals alike.

  172. GG says:

    As an immigrant who has lived in Canada for over 20 years, I’d like to find an opportunity to give back by volunteering with an organization that assists new immigrants.

  173. Angie says:

    I’m truly inspired by those who give countless hours of their time, with little to no thanks. So much so, that I’m attending the event and going to donate my time 🙂

  174. As the Volunteer Coordinator for Arts Umbrella, an arts education non-profit serving BC, I am exposed to so many giving people. It is an honour to work with them every day, and it is a joy to be inspired to help out in my own way.

  175. Michelle Williamson says:

    There’s nothing sadder than a child with no smile. My sister’s daughter was born with a cleft lip last year, and thanks to the great health care system in Canada, she had lip reconstruction surgery when she was 3 months old and now, at 14 months, can win over an entire room with her smile. Operation Smile does wonderful work bringing smiles to children around the world who aren’t as fortunate as my niece, and their work should be commended!

  176. Lyn says:

    Flying anywhere Westjet travels sounds fabulous. I can hardly wait to pack my bags and go somewhere sunny.

  177. Adam says:

    I am totally inspired about taking the peer support training program to assist people with mental illness. The Vancouver Coastal Heaalth sponsored program is teaching me so much about giving back to the community and I am thankful for this volunteer opportunity so that I can assist a person who is going through a difficult time get back on his/ her feet again and feel valued and gain back self-esteem. As much as I love the program, I’ll definitely be ready for a holiday if I win this contest. I can already hear WestJet calling me, “Adam, you are the winner!”

  178. Randy says:

    I have been volunteering for quite some time. Some of the fundraising started with raising funds for “A Loving Spoonful”. This is an amazing service that is provided and a great charity to sponsor. We did many cake, bake, bbq’s and garage sales to help support them. Over $100K raised.

    A little later on, I was very grateful to help support the North Shore Search & Rescue. Talk about a close knit group of people who are dedicated, this is them. We help them raise funds to install there “Repeater” just near the lions. We also helped with different needs for gear and twords a purchase of a new truck.

    Then..There was the Olympics. I cant say enough about this experience. It really renews a person spirit in humans and that people can really get along.

    Every one of these have taught me something new in life and shown its people that bring it all together and help each other out.

  179. Meiling Z says:

    Inpiration cant be told, it can only be felt from within a warm heart. What should inspire any one of us are those less forunate people than us, whether it’d be knowledge, upbringing, physical ability, health…, and yet these folks still work hard everday for their visions, have loving thoughts of themselves and the world.

  180. Siobhan says:

    I haven’t had a great deal of experience volunteering but I’ve been inspired to get more involved by my friend Roberta. She is a tireless volunteer and has shown me through her actions how important and also how fulfilling volunteering can be. Thanks Roberta!

  181. David says:

    I recently attended an event by the International League of Conservation Photographers here in Vancouver and was immediately inspired by the passion and dedication of this organization, the community leaders on the coast, the dozen or so top nature photographers who came from around the world to put a spotlight on the Great Bear Rainforest in Northern British Columbia. It took the commitment of the Gitga’at First Nation in Hartley Bay to rally up support for their community’s opposition to a proposed Enbridge pipeline, one that would bring oil tankers to BC’s coast.

    Inspired by the vision – the big picture – and the need to see things as they truly are: interconnected, symbiotic relationships between people, the land, the forest and the sea. Making this connection through action, education and positive media is a sound strategy and one that can be applied to any number of issues. The Great Bear Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) led by the ILCP is an empowering example.

    I’ve volunteered for numerous organizations over the last decade – arts, environmental, media issues – and find the ‘doing’ as inspirational as the ‘learning’. Finding mentors in the volunteer community – be they orgs or individuals – allows me to focus on what I truly want to give in my life, through my work, my family & friends and non-profit organizations. This inter-connectedness applies and what I can learn from actions in the field can be drawn down to the actions of the everyday.

  182. Kandes says:

    People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within. ~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    Be the light that reignites the fire within someone during a dark time in their life, because you can, because one day you will need it as well. To know that there is someone out there in the world that cared enough to help will propagate goodness in a ripple effect throughout many lives. This is why giving of yourself is important.

  183. Bob Rogers says:

    What “Inspires” Me To Serve The Canadian Hemochromatosis Society.

    In Canada over 150,000 people hyper-absorb dietary iron.
    Nearly 85% of these individuals are undiagnosed and untreated.
    Substantial amounts of iron build up in vital organs of the body.
    Preventing the toxic build of iron saves lives.
    Iron excess is removed from the body with blood donations.
    Reducing the risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more.
    Early detection, diagnosis and treatment saves health care dollars.
    Saving lives. Saving families. Saving Communities.

    If this INSPIRES you, please visit http://www.toomuchiron.ca

    Bob Rogers
    Executive Director
    The Canadian Hemochromatosis Society

  184. Jean says:

    Have done volunteer work all my life.. was inspired at age 15, when my Aunt, sent us teenagers to a TH2 program in Burnaby, which had teens helping teens, that were handicapped, we went on field trips, and had parties, and we all realized, we were the same, I will never forget, the friendships that were made, and learning, we all live in this world together, I also, wanted my own children to see, they too,can enjoy volunteer work, and get great pleasure , from helping others.. I have worked at telethons, World Police/Fire Games, of course, all the volunteer activities at Hockey and Baseball as well!! so many people to meet! This event, is a new one to me, I was interested in attending, what a great idea, to encourage more participation!!

  185. Martina says:

    In 2004, I volunteered in South Africa working with orphans, HIV children and poverty-stricken children who did not have the finances to attend school. I had to quickly adapt to new environments and use my creativity to work with the limited resources that were available. After I witnessed the lack of education in these poor countries, I realized that I wanted to become a teacher and dedicate my life to investing in children.

    In Fiji, I had the privilege to volunteer with the poorest children in the area where I encouraged them, developed relationships with them and taught positive self-identity and self-confidence in them. Through this experience, I learned the invaluable impact that I can make in the lives of children through educating them, developing character in them and being a role model to them.

    For three summers in Port Hardy, I volunteered through my church at a First Nations reserve where I implemented Vacation Bible School for seven days. I taught neglected, poverty-stricken and abused children where I was able to acquire the skills of educating and supervising 40 children in a gymnasium. In 2005 summer, I led a team of 12 volunteers to Port Hardy to teach Vacation Bible School where I learned to supervise not only adults but also children at the same time. By managing a moderate-size group, I gained valuable coordination, leadership and time management experience.

    Also, I volunteered at YWCA Crabtree Corner Daycare for single moms with addictions. I helped in supervising on field trips and daily daycare duties for the preschoolers. Half of the children in the daycare had special needs and I gained invaluable experience in working with children who need special care in a dynamic environment.

    Most recently, I was the founder of Street Beat Sandwich Ministries where my friends and I made 1,000 sandwiches twice a month for the Downtown Eastside. We would wake up on Saturday morning and meet at 9 am to make and distribute sandwiches and drinks to the homeless. If one person can make a difference, imagine what we can do together.

    Please check out my documentary on Street Beat Sandwich Ministries: http://vimeo.com/8938657

  186. Tzaddi says:

    The Timeraiser sounds like a fantastic concept. Kudos to everyone involved!

    I’ve volunteered since I was a teenager and it has enriched my life in so many ways. It’s connected me with my community, led to wonderful friendships, and given me travel opportunities.

    My favourite charities are ones that tackle issues from several angles: Quest Outreach which rescues food that would otherwise end up in lower mainland landfills. They divert it to charities and operate an affordable grocery shop as well. And, The Sunshine Coast Community Foundation which grants funds from it’s endowments to a great variety of causes on the coast. There’s a lot of efficiency and momentum to be gained by a charity addressing needs from several directions at once.

  187. I’ve been volunteering all my life because very inspired by one of my Elementary School teachers. They brought us to a local Senior’s home and had us paired with “buddies”. We would visit every couple of months, bringing cards we had made, or something to show them that we’d made in class. Often we would have our project presentations to this lovely audience of Buddies.

    This experience had me returning to visit my buddy even after leaving that class. I would bring my hamster to visit Dorothy and my parents would stay and chat. When Dorothy passed away, I continued volunteering at the centre with their weekly cooking program and weekend bingo.

    This young exposure to volunteerism has fueled my desire to help out other organizations I care for. I’ve volunteered with Public Dreams Society, The Word On The Street Vancouver, and several other local and Canadian groups.

  188. Angela says:

    There is so much negativity about the prospects of the world, but permaculture offers so much hope! It is a design science for permanent human settlements incorporating the best of global practices, past, present and future for housing, agriculture, everything about the way we live and work. Permaculturists have been trained around the world – they consider it about their handprint – what difference you can make to people and community. I am especially inspired by food forests in temperate climates for a more sustainable agriculture: food-bearing roots, mushrooms, plants, trees, bushes, tall trees and vines all planted together, which, when mature means it’s just about pruning and harvesting, and less about tilling and planting.

  189. SAM says:

    Giving my time to support people with disabilities is important to me. I like to volunteer and work with others to improve the quality of life for peopple who have challenges and need a break in life. I have been involved with a few events that BC Schizophrenia Society has sponsored and it is very rewarding to see the enjoymentfor that people with mental lilness experience when they have the opportunity to socialize – something that most of us take for granted.

  190. Elaan says:

    Volunteering just feels GOOD. If you could bottle up the spirit of volunteering and mass produce it, there would be an end to so much negativity in the world. It’s inspiring, it raises your self-esteem, it engenders a sense of comradeship, and it provides a genuine service to others.

    My best volunteer experience has to be my first one. A high school friend recruited me to help with a senior’s luncheon one day. I think that all we really did was serve tea and snacks, and talk to the elderly. It seemed like so little at the time, but it made a big impact on me.

    I was amazed to discover how great it felt to do something positive for someone else, and it spurred me on to do more. I found myself volunteering for other organizations and other causes close to my heart. Crisis intervention, eating disorders awareness, victim services, working with school-aged children, assisting at special events, and working with the elderly have been just some of the things I have done.

    The payoffs are the best kind of payoffs you can get, and they are huge. I’ve gained experience, connections to my community, lifelong friends, and so much happiness. It’s amazing how much YOU gain by doing something for someone else. Volunteering just feels GOOD. 🙂

  191. Teresa says:

    I get inspired when I witness community-building efforts by passionate young people. Collectives like ‘The Purple Thistle’ (http://www.purplethistle.ca/) are incredibly hopeful. They are so young and they’re already making a positive impact – just imagine their potential in the future!

  192. Helena says:

    I have volunteered quite a bit. But the volunteer work that I think most inspired me and had the most direct effect on the person receiving the help, was when I volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Project of Tallahassee. I hung out with an 80 yr old lady that had Alzheimer’s disease for about an hour every week, so that her husband could have a break. He usually went grocery shopping, for a walk, or sometimes just sat on the couch. I know this 1 hour was so important to him. At the end, he was so stressed out that he got cancer and died, leaving his precious wife.

  193. Alyson says:

    Being able to take a little bit of my time that would most likely otherwise been spent doing something totally unproductive and spending it working with passionate people who want to make to world better. I love how volunteering is a bunch of people who come together for no purpose other than improving someone else’s life. It’s so rewarding to be so selfless and help those who need it.

  194. Dave says:

    I love volunteering to help children. Just to be able to spend time with these people who don’t know how hard life can be, how selfish people can be and have such a simple, optimistic view of the world makes me feel so good about myself and about the future. I love being part of their world and watching them grow.

  195. George says:

    Volunteering is one of the best ways to return what we have gotten from the society. I respect any kind of the social activities such as volunteering, charity etc. 🙂

  196. It truly inspires me to see people who daily give of themselves expecting nothing in return; truly being loving and generous to others. To me, one of the most important things in life is making a positive impact on someone elses life.
    I had the great privilege to work with a boy with muscular dystrophy that passed away in 2008. He spent the end of his life with his mom at Canuck Place, an amazing place that dedicates themselves to caring for and comforting children in terminal illnesses. I am extremely appreciative to the volunteers that make it possible for children and their families to be cared for during the most difficult time.

  197. William says:

    More devotion to youth is the key to the future. Kids learn so much by example. Help a young person with every extra moment that you can spare. Whether it be your own relatives (eg a precious grandchild) or one of there friends that need a ride to an activity and/or event or even a perfect stranger that needs help fixing his broken bike, take the time for kids..they are the future. Check out the great organizations and volunteer to help (eg YMCA/YWCA, Boys & Girls Club, monor sports, etc.). You’ll feel a whole lot better after helping a youth.

  198. Tanya Oliva says:

    I am responsible for Community Involvement programs at ICBC and I am really excited to promote the 3rd Annual Timeraiser to our employees in the Lower Mainland. Our employees are extremely generous, giving their time and money to many charities throughout the year, including United Way, BC Children’s Hospital and 70 other organizations in their local communities.

  199. Debra says:

    I have volunteered at many levels and in various roles, in community organizations and for an environmental organization. The first step seems like a personal sacrifice but the second step and the many miles that follow are full of gifts from others and from our achievements. The returns never cease, even from one little volunteer effort. Volunteering is a portal to true love for humanity and for yourself.

  200. Sioned says:

    Volunteering with the Special Olympics has been one of the best experiences of my life. It has gone beyond the cliche ‘I’ve gotten back more than I have given’, it’s been about witnessing individuals face adversity in the eye and saying ‘I will not give up’. The power of the human spirit is nowhere better exemplified than in the athletes who participate in Special Olympics.

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share this!

  201. Rebecca Bollwitt says:

    The contest is now closed. Thank you for sharing all of your inspiring stories!

  202. Mike says:

    I believe in giving all children a fighting chance in this world, so I like to volunteer and work with children. They are our future citizens. I’ve volunteered as a children’s community soccer coach and will do that again. I support childrens’ camps as well, such as Evans Camp so that kids have outdoor camping experiences. Children inspire me because they are so resilient and can teach us a lot about being positive. I get back so much more than I give as a volunteer helping children, primarily in sporting/ recreation activities.

  203. Heaher says:

    The people that inspire me are all my coworkers. I work in healthcare and daily you see nurses that are caring for our most fragile, social workers comforting greiving families, occupational therapists taking the time to ensure that patients have the skills and equipment to return home, physiotherapists ensuring that patients are mobilized in order to avoid the negative affects of bed rest. Doctors ensuring that patients are medically stable and intervening when necessary. Everyone comes together as a team and patients are managed in the full medical and social scope.

    Having volunteered in a hospital in Belize for 4 weeks, I am able to recognize how lucky Canadians are to have the health care system we do despite the challenges it has. It was only after travelling to Belize that I realized how unique it is for patients to have access to a such a wide variety of disciplines with varying perspectives and expertises!

  204. Sarah Mulder says:

    As one of the artists in this years Timeraiser Vancouver, I feel that this event sums up exactly what is important to us Canadians, being able to give back in a really engaging way. It doesn’t in the end matter how or to who we give back to, but just that people are really giving more thought to reaching out and exploring the options that are out there. What inspires me? Completely, 100%, THIS EVENT and all of the other Timeraiser events happening outside of Vancouver, this is truly “thinking outside of the box”. I feel privileged to be a part of it for the third year- it is truly my favorite event in the City. Congratulations to everyone involved!!

  205. Emma Gilchrist says:

    Volunteer parties! I was really impressed last year when, in the middle of the recession, many companies gave up corporate Christmas parties in favour of volunteering together. I wrote a story about these inspiring leaders for the Globe&Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/holiday/holiday-survival-guide/the-new-christmas-party-hot-spot-the-soup-kitchen/article1408116/) and learned that many of the employees actually preferred their volunteer parties to the normal indulgences. Imagine if there was a larger societal shift toward giving back instead of indulging — it would change the world!

  206. […] their favourite volunteer experience and/or their favourite charity.  Take a look at the entires here – to read about people’s passion for their community and their dedication to civic […]

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