Timeraiser Vancouver 2011

Comments 166 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Timeraiser is returning to Vancouver this month at the Waldorf Hotel. This event is a silent auction but instead of bidding with money, you bid with the number of volunteer hours you are willing to contribute in order to win your desired piece. It combines a local art showcase with a volunteer-hour fundraiser, a complete win/win.

When Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:00pm (doors)
Where The Waldorf Hotel (1489 East Hastings)
What A silent art auction supporting local Vancouver artists. Bid on art with a pledge of time to a local charity.

It’s also a great time to learn more about local non-profit organizations as many will be on-site including:

3H Craftworks
Alzheimer Society of BC
Beauty Night Society
Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Paraplegic Association
Canucks Autism Network
Compassionate Eye Foundation
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Mission Possible
MS Society of Canada BC & Yukon Division
North Shore ConneXions Society
Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation
The Canadian Youth Business Foundation
The Environmental Youth Alliance
TRAC Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre
Urban Ink Productions
Urban Native Youth Association
Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition
Vancouver Laughter Mission Society
W2 Community Media Arts Society
Wildlife Rescue Association
Women Against Violence Against Women
Yoga Outreach
Young Naturalists’ Club of BC
…and more

The goal is to raise 4,000 volunteer hours, which can be achieved if each participant pledges around 20 hours over the next 12 months. Tickets for Timeraiser Vancouver are just $20.

If you’re an artist, agency, or potential sponsor, find out more on the Timeraiser Vancouver site and find them on Twitter or Facebook for updates.

Timeraiser also takes place in Edmonton (October 15th), Hamilton (November 3rd), and Ottawa (November 19th) all in support of local artists and organizations. To date, Timeraiser has hosted 28 events across Canada, generated 93,000 volunteer hours, invested $495,890 in the careers of emerging artists, supported 383 charities and encouraged 6,043 Canadians to connect with the causes they care about.

Westjet 737-700 C-FZWS
Photo credit: caribb on Flickr

WestJet Contest

WestJet is a nation-wide partner of the Timeraiser events and at each event, you can enter to win two return tickets for any WestJet destination. Last year they partnered with Miss604.com in Vancouver (exclusively) to offer the same opportunity to one of my readers. I’m very happy to announce that we have renewed our partnership for 2011 and I am once again offering a return trip for two to anywhere WestJet flies (value $4,604).


The official rules and regulations can be found in this document. Residents of Canada (excluding Quebec) who are of the age of majority are eligible*. Contest start date is September 6, 2011 and the last day to enter is September 16, 2011. At that time, entries will be reviewed by Timeraiser staff and I. We will select our top ten entries and fom that group of ten, one winning entry will be drawn at random.

How to Enter

Last year we asked about your personal experience with volunteering and we’d like to do the same again this year but expand the parameters a little. You can leave a comment here saying how you have volunteered in the past (and what it’s meant to you) or how you have seen a volunteer in action – how they have impacted someone else’s life or your own.

If you would like to spread the word, you can post the following on Twitter (please note, there are no Twitter entries for the contest).

Learn how you can enter to win a trip to anywhere @WestJet flies thanks to @timeraiser_couv & @Miss604 http://bit.ly/timeraiser604

All valid comments on this post will be entered in the contest. Please keep entries under 200 words. We will announce the winner Monday, September 19, 2011.

Update September 19, 2011: I would first like to thank everyone who submitted an entry into this contest. The stories of how the participants have volunteered or have seen volunteerism in action were moving, to say the least. Second, thank you to everyone who shared the contest. We had over 140 tweets and it wasn’t even a Twitter-entry contest.

Finally, after narrowing down the our lists, Timeraiser organizers and I drew a winner at random from the finalists. The winner is…. Angie Rai! Angie has been contacted and will soon be on her way to the WestJet destination of her choice. Thank you all for your participation and be sure to get your tickets for Timeraiser in Vancouver and in other Canadian cities this fall.

*Rules and Regulations

166 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. DavidTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:18pm PDT

    My place of employment takes part in the yearly Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup event, cleaning BC’s shoreline from litter and debris. I took part this year, the first true volunteer work I’ve done since grade school, and after having finished up the dayI really fely a sense of pride and accomplishment — not to mention the fact I was able to bring out my young son to the event, and it was really fun teaching him the importance of clean shorelines and the effects of littering!

  2. Marc SmithTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:21pm PDT

    in 2010 I was moved by youth suicides and the bullying that was specifically affecting my LGBT community. I called up QMUNITY(a feature charity this year) and met with the Executive Director and asked how I could help and be of service.

    We discussed many possible roles but the one that stood out the most was they needed help taking their sponsor/fundraising/events to the next level.

    Since that original talk in late Nov 2010 I’ve thrown a private party that raised $ for QMUNITY produced 3 events with one more to come that all exceeded the fundraising targets, developed a sponsorship/event strategy & sponsorship package and most importantly I’ve helped spread the word about the wonderful work they do to a group of people who were unfamiliar with them.

    My support will continue in 2012 and I look forward to a relationship that will continue to grow and prosper.

  3. CandiceTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:26pm PDT

    My mom stayed at home but was ALWAYS volunteering her time. With Girl Guides, parent committees and babysitting for other parents. Many of her fundraising efforts directly effected me and my brothers. New gym equipment, new playground or funding for a school trip. She lead by example and showed us a little elbow grease and perseverance can get you a lot. After newly becoming a stay at home mom I understand on another level the need to better your children’s lives and I look forward to finding new ways to better my own daughters’ life through volunteerism.

  4. Jennifer BreakspearTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:26pm PDT

    I believe it is important to make a difference in my community and one of the ways I do so is volunteering. I have been a volunteer member of many Boards of Directors (I currently sit on the Boards of Directors of Zee Zee Theatre and CenterLink – The Association of LGBT Centers) as well as doing more occasional and sporadic volunteering such as neighbourhood clean-ups. Making a difference means giving of myself to support community. And it feels good too 🙂

  5. Lexia NashTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:27pm PDT

    I have been a volunteer throughout my life and feel it is very valuble to do so. There are so many people out there who could use a helping hand and to know that someone out there cares. I love volunteering and have done so for many years, I started off as a young child raising money for the 30 hour famine, since then I have volunteered with the Salvation Army, The Food Bank and The SPCA, handing out food & sorting clothes/goods for low income families and feeding/ brushing/ walking the animals. I myself come from a low income family and as a child growing up my family used the food bank to get by every month. I wanted to give back as I know how much need there is in this world. If you volunteer for a Food Bank or Animal Society, Shelter or a Big Brother/Sister program etc. you are doing a great thing and I’m sure the people you help will also in turn have a ‘pay it forward’ way of helping others!!

  6. Mark O’MearaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:33pm PDT

    I volunteer my time by running the Canadastudentdebt.ca website to help people navigate through the repayment of student loans.

    My volunteer time provides a support network for people in loan repayment and providing valuable information about the process of repayment and how to deal with debt. I am also also responsible for bringing media attention to the issues of student loan administration, debt levels, and has brought about changes to the Canada Student Loan Program.

    The information on the site is open to all and is free. There are very few if any advocates for student loan borrowers. The site gives people hope and a sense that they are not alone.

  7. John MahTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:37pm PDT

    I love Volunteering, its great, fun, and an awesome way to meet new people. I value volunteering very highly because it helps not only are you helping the community, but you are meeting others with similar interests and this can help with your networking upon future careers. I volunteered in hospitals working with geriatic patients, schools, and now recently the physiotherapy clinic in my school where I help out with taping athletes and educating them about injury prevention and rehabilitation. I encourage everyone to volunteer as its a great way to make a difference in the community and be part of something special

  8. JenniferTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:40pm PDT

    I was at first never a believer in volunteering. I felt that my time/work was of value, and selfishly did not volunteer for anything. However I am a member of an Alumni Group, and was one of the founding group members (I mean I was in the very 1st cycle, of which there has been many more over the years) I decided that if anything that volunteering there would defiantly be a worthy cause. After all they had helped my through a very difficult time in my life. So I asked if I could volunteer, they said absolutely and very graciously took me in yet again. It was a humbling experience of which I felt a rich learning environment; it was defiantly a new experience being on the other side of things, helping the people that had helped me. I did not expect anything to come of it until the day came when I was offered a job! I was honoured, I accepted the job, and my title was: Peer Leader. I jumped at the chance to be a positive role model for these kids. I underwent the employment process and ended up with a job that I could honestly say that I loved. Which if you knew me is a bold statement, because I never, not once have like led alone loved my job. I never would have had this chance, if I didn’t volunteer.

  9. MeganTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:52pm PDT

    It’s been almost two years since I lost the love of my life, Chad. He was handsome, intelligent, motivated, hilarious and above all, he made me believe in fairy tales.
    We lost Chad on November 28th, 2009 to a blood cancer called Multiple Myeloma. He was only 34 and I was 25.

    Before passing away, he and his family (his mother also tragically shares the same disease) set a goal of raising 1 Million Dollars to help research and clinical trials for blood diseases at VGH.

    Several events have been held in his memory since passing; however this upcoming weekend will be the largest. Hollyburn Country Club is hosting the First Annual Chad Warren Mixed doubles Charity Challenge – open to all levels of play.

    I hardly consider the months spent organizing this event to be ‘volunteering’ as I feel it is more a responsibility I have as Chad’s surrogate spirit on earth to help others with similar blood diseases receive the highest standard of support and opportunity available.

    Hours before Chad passed away (and I can hardly type this without tears pricking my eyes) I promised him I would meet him on a beach in Australia, where we had hoped we would spend the following spring had he gotten better. I haven’t been able to carry out my promise to him, and hope the generosity of West Jet can help get me there. Thank you for running such an inspiring contest.

  10. Becky ConlonTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 1:54pm PDT

    Volunteering is a big part of my life right now, and I expect that it always will be. I am currently on a cross-Canada journey volunteering with different non-profit organizations in hopes of raising their profiles through video and inspiring others to ‘do their part and show some heart’ by getting involved in a cause that they care about. (www.roadtripwithreason.ca)

    I have personally been SO INSPIRED by the experiences I have had while on the road. It’s amazing to see these small organizations with big dreams fulfill needs with the little that they (often) have. Volunteers play an incredibly important role in the success of these “little” organizations – without the help, they would not be able to create positive change in their communities.

    My first experience with ‘giving back’ was when (at 16) I read an article in the local paper about a little girl named Tamya who had a rare form of cancer. Her family needed funding assistance for her experimental treatment, so I decided to open a Lemon-AID stand. I only raised a little over $500, but it was the first time that I felt really good about what I had done. The community came together and ended up raising enough for her to receive her treatments, unfortunately a few years later she lost the battle. Sigh.

    Now at 23 I am still growing and changing, but there is no doubt in my mind that volunteerism will continue to play an important role.

    Giving back matters – opening your heart, offering your hands and making a little positive change. It matters to me and I am glad that events like the Timeraisers exist, in hopes that it will matter to more and more people each year.

    Thanks 🙂 xo

  11. James NeilTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 2:17pm PDT

    As a consultant that sends contract staff out to private events and weddings quite often I see numerous times where emotions are high and the tears are flowing. Very seldom as I am providing a service to the customer do I get caught up in the emotion as I am working and often not emotionally attached. One wedding truly opened my eyes. As the groom introduced his Best Man I tried to figure out the conncetion. The Best Man was a 9 year old boy who was not the same nationality as the Bride or Groom and caused many wonder as to how the connection existed. The Groom was the Big Brother of this 9 year old boy. When a 9 year old boy makes a speech at a wedding that he wrote and tells the story of how his life has been affected by the Groom or as he knows him, his brother, it truly made me tear up. Raising money is always great but time with a 9 year old boy who had no father figure was priceless for this boy and it showed in his young maturity and confidence. Time isn’t money, it is more than that….it is priceless.

  12. Ali HurstTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 2:40pm PDT

    Since I was a little girl I have always volunteered. My mom worked for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and I always helped out with their different events and walks.

    I joined my place of employment 3 years ago, and one of the things that really grabbed at me was the Philanthopy. my boss is a huge inspiration to me with the philanthropic work she does in the community, especially related to BC’s Special Children. June 2012 will mark the 25th Annual Golf Classic she hosts, and has raised over 2.6 million.She has devoted so much of her time to helping others, and i think it is truly amazing.

    My most recent Volunteer experience is with the Blazin’ Soccer Dogs. My boss introduced me to the charity and i fell in love. It is an amazing program that allows Special Needs children to play soccer. It is all done by Volunteer coaches and donations. My fiance and I started volunteering last spring, and can’t wait for the fall season to begin.

    When i’m not volunteering, i am looking for different ways to give back. I think it’s so rewarding when you see all the people you are helping.

  13. BrendaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 2:44pm PDT

    One of my favourite volunteer jobs was facilitating workshops for Grade 8 & 9 students for the Canadian Red Cross on abuse prevention while I lived in Victoria. The program was designed to teach these students to be able to identify abuse whether in the home, bullying or by a partner and what to do with it. I loved the work. The kids were really engaged & engaging and it was really rewarding doing something that I felt really mattered.

  14. NatalieTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 2:53pm PDT

    One of my most memorable volunteer jobs was working for the Canadian Mental Health Association with their Youth-Net program. Youth Net was an interactive mental health promotion program for youth aimed at reducing the stigma of mental illness and creating a supportive climate for youth to access help for mental health concerns. I met and presented to many youth around Surrey and Delta and I really appreciated the message that Youth Net had. So much so that it encouraged me into my current employment as a social worker.

  15. ChrisTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 2:56pm PDT

    The best volunteer experience I was involved with was teaching first nations high school students. There were all sorts of different students there in terms of educational strength and social condition. To see them succeed after putting in such hard work was great. Fantastic experience.

  16. TaraTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 3:39pm PDT

    When I was seventeen, I started volunteering as a Canadian Host and refugee settlement counselor and LOVED it. Simple things, like helping a newcomer to Canada find the best grocery store to shop at or help to fill out everyday forms, practice English or just be a friendly face in a new place really makes a world of difference. Over the years I have met some truly amazing people from all over the globe with stories that are mind boggling. The things that some of them have overcome is really inspiring.

    An Iraqi man who had just arrived in Canada after being in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia for over seven years saw a photo of a quilt that my grandmother had made me and started to tear up. The quilt triggered a memory of his mother because the design was almost identical to the one she had made him for his bed in his home country. My grandmother was more than happy to let me pass her gift on to this man and it was really touching to see how much it meant to him. It really is the simple things that connect us all.

  17. VickyTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 4:07pm PDT

    “We Day is the largest youth empowerment event of its kind put on by educational partner and international children‘s charity – Free The Children”

    Joined by internationally acclaimed child rights activists and co-founders of Free The Children, Craig and Marc Kielburger— I am proud to say I too will be involved in this year’s 2011 We Day event as a volunteer in their media relations team.

    I have always believed youth today can create a positive change in the world. The message behind this foundation is extremely powerful and it aligns with my own beliefs. Given the opportunity again I would like to inspire and raise more awareness in our community that it all starts within us. Young people alike are capable to come together and create a positive change while igniting and inspiring other children across the world.

  18. AndrewTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 4:47pm PDT

    Since 1999 I have volunteered for Camp Goodtimes, which is the Canadian Cancer Society’s camp for children affected by cancer. Every moment I have spent at the camp has enriched me with great memories of the children that attend this camp. Camp Goodtimes is a place where smiles are abundant and I have helped provide opportunities for the campers to forget about their ailments and treatments. I hope to continue to help out at this fantastic camp and help the children share more positive moments.

  19. Troy LeMoigneTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 4:54pm PDT

    I have volunteered for many sports camps for kids over the years, but it is the 24 hour relay for life that I am most proud of. Cancer has touched everyone in some way, and for myself, it has contacted many family members over the years. My mom was diagnosed two years ago with breast cancer, and over the past 2 years, I have volunteered along with my father for the 24 hour relay for life in Prince George, BC. What a wonderful event and very touching. It is a disease that has touched the majority of my female relatives, and I have two sisters. It worried me knowing they too could contract the disease in the coming years and are at greater risk. This is why I participate each year in raising awareness and money. I love them dearly.

  20. ManpreetTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 5:10pm PDT

    Being a science student I started volunteering this January at the BC Cancer Agency at my local hospital as well as in the emergency room of the same hospital. In the beginning it started out as simply volunteering at the BCCA, in an environment that I wish to pursue a career in, in the near future as well as simply putting in a few hours a week to give back to the community. However, as time went on I realized that I really enjoyed being able to brighten the day of a patient who just finished their weekly/monthly chemotherapy treatment and also those patients that started losing their hair due to various cancer treatments and needing assistance with picking out a wig (which I think is the best part of my duties at BCCA since I get to witness the joy that comes to the face of so many patients, specifically women, who once again start to feel beautiful and all of a sudden cancer doesn’t seem so scary to them. After volunteering at BCCA for a few months, I expanded my duties into the hospital ER room where I find immense joy in providing way-finding, refreshments, assistance to staff, snacks, clean toys for children and most of all talking and interacting with patients–whether it be about why I am volunteering, their family, some like to talk about why they’re in the hospital, family history (last week a lady talked about her Russian background and how here great-great grandparents immigrated to canada) or simply even the weather! All in all, the time I have spent volunteering is priceless for me and I will continue to do so for many years to come!!

  21. LisaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 5:30pm PDT

    As a graphic designer I’m always being asked to ‘volunteer’ my time. It’s hard, because I believe in giving back to my community (and have made a practice of doing so since I was young) but it was starting to bog me down somewhat and putting a stress on my business. It was at the first vancouver Timeraiser 3 years ago when someone from Special Olympics BC asked me if I had any specialized skills — of course I started saying, “I’m a graphic designer…” and then I saw all the sports they were needing help with and I realized I could do other things too — I am a trained skating coach, played softball for most my life and also curl regularly! I realized, I didn’t need my day job to be doubled-up but rather could spend time volunteering for sports I love.

    My volunteering has been so much more fun now — Special Olympics has been a great experience for me — I had forgotten how awesome it feels to do something just for the fun of it. Also, disconnecting my volunteering from my business has revitalized the very intention of it all for me. I still do volunteer design work but the non-design volunteering helps me step outside of my regular life, reminds me to learn and encourages basic human connections in unexpected ways.

  22. Lelainia N. LloydTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 5:41pm PDT

    I have been volunteering since I was 5 years old. In my life, I have served in the following ways:

    -visited a woman who was a shut in due to serious health issues. I visited her at least (if not more) once a week for a few hours for 10 years. (This was my first volunteering experience.)

    -taught sunday school for nursery & kindergarden aged children for 3 years at my church

    -did recess and lunch time supervision of kindergardeners at my elementry school for 2 years

    -helped out in the school libraries from grades 5 through 9.

    -of my own personal interest and volition spent one summer volunteering in physical and occupational therapy at a residential centre for people who were both developementally and physically disabled when I was 13.

    -volunteered over 40 hours of vacation time here on holiday in BC when I was 15 at Burnaby Village Museum as a display interpreter.

    -numerous hours in the classroom helping teachers, tutoring kids, serving on the Parent’s Advisory Committee and arranging recognition projects for the staff while my son was in elementry school.

    -Visited isolated seniors for a year.

    -Was a vision mate with the CNIB for a senior who was legally blind for 6 months.

    -Volunteered 8 years with SHARE as a crisis line counsellor, logging over 2500 hours on the lines and another 4000+ hours in crisis line related services-newletter editor and writer, group leader for new trainees, developed a mentorship program for new trainees, volunteer representitive. I received recognition awards for my service.

    -VIP transportation and dispatch for the 2009 World Police & Fire Games

    -Athletes’ Marshall and Events Services volunteer for the ceremonies (Opening, closing and victory ceremonies) for the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games

    -Summer Live 2010 volunteer, at Stanley Park volunteer registration and transportation.

    -Currently a blogger/mentor for BC for the someonelikeme.ca website, a brand new initiative of the CDN MS Society aimed at meeting the needs of younger people ages 15-25 who either have MS or have a loved one who has MS.

    -Currently Group leader/communications person for the Lower Mainland Society’s Younger Person’s MS Group.

    -2011 Grey Cup volunteer hopeful. (Just waiting for an assignment!)

    WHEW! That’s a long list, when I parcel it all out, but it makes me kind of happy to look at it all-everything I’ve done has informed and transformed my life in countless ways. One of the most meaningful things I ever read said: “It’s one of the funny paradoxes of life that the more you give away to others, the more you get to keep for yourself.” It’s true.

  23. KevinTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 6:36pm PDT

    My mom put me into a lot of volunteer opportunities as a kid, and I appreciate it so much now that I’m older. Notable ones include helping out with the Rio Tinto Alcan DB Festival, Taiwanese Festival (when it used to be at Plaza of Nations!) and SFU & UBC Summer Day Camps.

    Currently, I still volunteer my time for Vancouver Dodgeball League and have been so for the last 3 years. It’s pretty intensive and lasts nearly all year long, but has allowed for so much personal growth and connections.

    Soon I’ll be starting clinic and outreach with WCCMT offering massages to hospital workers, seniors, disabled, terminally ill. One day I hope to also help out at Canucks Place 🙂

  24. RebeccaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 7:10pm PDT

    I have volunteered in a variety of ways over the years. However, rather than talk about myself, I’d like to talk about how volunteers at the Salvation Army helped my grandmother as a child. My grandma and her parents immigrated to Canada when she was three years old. They had very little and her father had difficulty finding work. One Christmas, my grandma said her family was literally starving, as they could not afford to buy food. On Christmas Day, they awoke to a knock on the door and it wasn’t Santa, but Salvation Army volunteers bringing gifts and food for the family. My grandma said that the best present was the oranges they received that year. From that day forward, my family, including myself, have donated money to The Salvation Army.

  25. TessaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 7:40pm PDT

    I have volunteered at shelters around the gvrd sorting clothes and for big brothers/sisters selling ice-cream at race track

  26. DonnaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 7:40pm PDT

    I’ve volunteered for 3 years with the Canadian Mental Health Association. During my 1st 6 months, I was paired with a male in his 20s who diagnosed with schizophrenia. He was an avid hiker but with the side affects of his medication (sleepiness, slowed movements, weight gain etc) he was no longer the confident hiker he once was. I organized weekly hikes with him and encouraged him to particate in group hikes with my friends. This weekly commitment between the 2 of us helped him build his confidence, bring a smile to his face, created a supportive friendship and reminded him how active living is still possible with schizophrenia.

  27. SteveTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 8:08pm PDT

    As a pastor I’ve spent much of my life volunteering and leading volunteers. But I’d rather tell you about my friend Jim. When the local AA meeting house in Tsawwassen was burnt down by arson, the organization almost folded without enough insurance money to rebuild. Morale was low. Jim, who is himself 40 years sober and has started a number of non-profits for fighting substance abuse volunteered to take over the presidency. Because of his tireless volunteer work, huge passion and vision, the organization raised the money to rebuild the house state of the art and greatly expand its mission and impact in the community, offering seminars, support and counsel for those dealing with substance abuse either themselves or with a loved one. Jim’s a real hero and I’m proud to support his great work and cheer him on as he works to change lives in South Delta.

  28. mariaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 8:14pm PDT

    My place of employment recent took place in the daffodil for cancer fund. Our location probably raised the most and overall as a company we raised $11,000 for the Cancer Agency. It means so much to raise money for such a good cause when it seems cancer is affecting a lot of people nowadays.

  29. Dianne ChowTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 8:40pm PDT

    In the past, I have spent numerous hours in volunteering my time in fundraising activities for the arts as I believe that culture adds to the quality of an individual’s life by allowing them to escape out of their normal lives into a magical world of music and artistic expression. However, on the morning after the Stanley Cup riot, on my way to way to work downtown, tears came to my eyes as I walked through Granville Street watching volunteers pick up broken glass on the ground around the Hudson Bay and various other establishments that suffered the brunt of hooligans who turned a national Canadian sport into an international incident. It was undeniable the overwhelming feeling of disappointment mixed with the determination of the people of Vancouver to show the world that we in Vancouver are not poor losers and that the actions of a few should not summarized as the attitude of many. The apologies that people scribbled on boards covering the shameless broken windows were heartfelt and demonstrated the ability of Vancouverites to be unified in the spirit of community to rebuild the reputation that Vancouver is truly one of the most livable cities in the world.

  30. TiffanyTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 10:01pm PDT

    I volunteer with my dog. We visit an old folks home. I also edit communications materials for Norlha, a non profit that helps out low income people in the Himalayas.

    I think every Canadian, especially single people, should volunteer weekly or monthly.

  31. MariaTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 11:03pm PDT

    This Christmas my best friend and I volunteered at Operation Red Nose. It was our first year doing this. It was inspirational to see people who had been part of Operation Red Nose for over a decade each. The volunteers work until 4-6 am each morning. We worked 5 shifts and had a great time. It felt good to know that with this program less people are drinking and driving. Definitely hoping to volunteer again next Christmas!!!!!

  32. DuncanTuesday, September 6th, 2011 — 11:42pm PDT

    My dad always canvassed for charitable organizations like the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Salvation Army. He dragooned me into doing the same when I was a teenager. I hated knocking on doors and asking people for money, but I did it anyway and with a smile on my face. It made me feel good to think about where the funds were going, and a little discomfort on my part was hardly a big deal.

  33. Angie ChaseWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 6:55am PDT

    My volunteer work with annual skateboard competitions re-generated my enthusiasm and appreciation for youth culture. As I was aging, I was noticing an increasing sense of generation gap and misunderstanding of what was in the minds and hearts of our younger citizens. I maintained an open-minded and respectful approach during my interaction with skateboard participants and I learned. My volunteerism taught me how much practice, skill and dedication are involved in skateboarding. Because of this experience, I have broadened my awareness and appreciation for new music, urban art, clothing style and an activity that is absolutely thrilling to watch. I am consistently surprised by the positive experience and the social/emotional fulfillment gained from volunteerism…and always thankful.

  34. mjgalvaniWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 7:19am PDT

    I think my most meaning volunteer experiences to me have been with LUMS, serving meals to the homeless and poor on the downtown eastside. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet some very interesting people, and there is not a single time I go that I don’t learn something from them. The best part for me is sitting down with the last people we let in and talking with them as we enjoy our meals. Everybody has many reasons for ending up where they are now, and I think more people should listen to them sometime. Many people down there come from loving families and worked jobs similar to ours.

  35. Carrie SikmanWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 10:14am PDT

    Earlier this year I began volunteering for Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter and it has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Although it is sometimes hard to hear about the horrific and terrible things that happen to women every single day and to realize that the issue of violence against women is still something that is often swept under the carpet it is also inspiring to watch these women take control of their lives, fight back and become empowered to build themselves a new future, free from pain and suffering. To know that I can play even just a small role in helping these women to escape their situations and regain their freedom and happiness is truly amazing. Although I have a ridiculously busy life (honest – ask my husband – he hardly ever sees me) I am happy to donate one night a week of my life to help women that in many cases have only the clothes that they escaped in. There are so many great causes to volunteer for but this one felt right for me and I take pride in offering both emotional and practical support to other women in their struggle to succeed in building a new life.

  36. Gertrude ParkeWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 10:23am PDT

    I started volunteering a long time ago! My Mom tried to teach us to help others who had less than we did (and we didn’t have lots)

    I’ve done many fun things over the years. I’ve helped in a rural elementary school for many years until I moved. Being librarian, teacher’s helper, office worker, led to me being able sub when needed.
    After I moved, I got involved in Scouting movement when my boys were in Cubs, helping wherever needed and even being a cub leader for 3 years.

    My husband is a long time Lions Club member. During his many hours of volunteer time, I would be at his side helping out. I was asked to become a Lion since I am always working for them. Now I am a Lion and proud of it!

    There are close to a dozen causes for the community I help with each year. One of them is serving hot lunches and entertaining Seniors who would otherwise be stuck in their homes and lonely. My major part in this weekly event is desserts and snacks so besides being with the Seniors, I spend hours at home doing the baking & cooking to get ready for the next week.

    I also am in a Senior choir. We practise once a week and sing usually 3 days a week at Care homes in the community. Seeing the smiles in the eyes of some of the Seniors, hearing them sing along make me feel I am getting more than I’m giving.

    While I’m doing all this, I am also knitting hat and scarves for needy children and homeless in the area, thanks to the donations of yarn from the public.

    Working it all out, I volunteer 24-30 hours a week, plus the knitting, plus the Lion Club functions that come along…AND I LOVE IT!

  37. SanazWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:20am PDT

    Volunteering is a very rewarding experience. In the past I’ve volunteered with organization encouraging more young girls to choose the technology sector as a career and make this sector more gender-balanced.

  38. AndreaWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:20am PDT

    I volunteered for Canadian Mental Health Association, and it was an experience of a life time. My role was to enter grade three classes across the province of PEI and teach them that being yourself is cool and unique. It was a great program! We took the kids thumbprints and made buttons out of the print – telling them, you are just as special and unique as your thumbprint – no one is the same, and it’s cool to be different. The look on the kids faces was priceless, and you could tell which kids really took it to heart. The program was called “i’m thumbody” and I learned so much about myself working with such amazing, eager to learn, vulnerable kids! Amazing experience.

  39. sher boudreauWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:20am PDT

    Being involved with minor hockey has been amazing but never as rewarding as opening up our home for 2 weeks for 8 boys from Czech Republic/Slovakia when they were here for Ridge Meadows International Spring Tournament. Learned how to speak Czech and Slovak and made friends for life with the parents, coaching staff and hockey players. What a thrill and now my husband and I are planning a trip to the Czech Republic to catch up with players and their families.

  40. ChristineWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:24am PDT

    I have always been a volunteer. As a child I volunteered at the UBC ECU for a total of 5000 hours. It really impacted the way I have chosen to live my life. There is nothing better than spending time with people who have no one left in their lives. I learned so much about life from all of the lovely residents. For me it was my 8 year old daughter who said she doesn’t want birthday presents only money to donate to charity she also doesn’t want a birthday party, she wants to go downtown with a bucket and tongs to pick up garbage because the city is “too dirty”! Even the smallest task makes a difference!

  41. LibbyWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:28am PDT

    I volunteer with Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and have done so for the last 4 years. This is an organization close to my heart and the joy I experience volunteering for them and helping children with serious illness experience their wishes come true is something I hope I can continue to do for years to come. Volunteering has made me a better person and shows me how blessed I am in my life – it only makes me want to help others more and more because I have so much and want to share.

  42. Robert W. WhiteWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:37am PDT

    I grew up knowing that volunteering was just a part of life. I’d help my mom canvas around the neighbourhood for cancer or diabetes foundations, and would serve or help prepare food for regular church dinners/events. For the past 10 years or so, I’ve dedicated a few hours every week to serve on our church worship team, to be a smiling face and a pleasing voice for those in attendance. But nothing has impacted me more than volunteering with A Loving Spoonful for these past 4 months. I never like mentioning my volunteer activities, since I feel that giving of your time to a cause you believe in should be done with the utmost humility, but sometimes its helpful to reflect and share. And being given the opportunity to make sure a family has food to put on the table, goes beyond words.

    Almost all of the families I visit each week consist of low/no-income single mothers with HIV/AIDS who are struggling to raise 3, 4, up to 6 children on their own. For most, english is a second language. Despite having grown up in a large family with a low, unpredictable income, I always knew there’d be dinner each night, even if it was a pile of mashed potatoes or rice. I know these families don’t have that stability, and I can see the thankfulness in their eyes as I say my goodbyes each week. That doesn’t feel like “volunteering” to me, but rather it’s a chance to give a parent hope, and to make sure their children get the nourishment they need. It’s powerful stuff.

  43. SharonWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 11:40am PDT

    I’ve volunteered for a variety of organizations, ever since I was a little girl. Giving back to the community has always been important to my family, so that was instilled in me from a young age as well. I’ve done dishes for family camps, tutored younger kids in school, talked to teens on a youth crisis hotline, done various behind the scenes work for crisis pregnancy centres, made lunches to hand out to the homeless, and a variety of other things that I can’t remember at the moment. All of these experiences have definitely enriched my life.

  44. AllieWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 1:34pm PDT

    One of my best friends recently came out and has since become very involved in the gay community in Vancouver. She has always gone above and beyond when it comes to her work, her passions and her community, and this has been no exception. She has dedicated her time at youth shelters, Queer Prom, and many women’s shelters, to name a few. She believes strongly in gender equality and is active with her voice and her time in demonstrating what she believes in, raising awareness, and creating change. I am so proud of my friend for who she is and the difference that I know she will make in the Vancouver LGBTQ community.

  45. JodieWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 1:37pm PDT

    I have been volunteering for many organizations since age 18 but I got to a point in my life where I wanted to do more. While living in Langley, I applied to be a volunteer Victim Support Worker with the Langely RCMP. After I passed the group interview, I was scheduled into a very intense training program that would enable me to provide on the phone assistance to the Victims of crime and their families. This experience at times was overwhelming, situated right inside the police detachment (it’s a lot quieter than yout think), reviewing cases after cases, a lot of the bringing tears to your eyes.

    Calling each person to offer our services and listening to their stories week after week until our services are no longer neeeded. Every 6 weeks we would rotate ‘on call’ and we would be equipped with a beeper to be worn 24 hours for the weekend. Constantly on edge and praying it didn’t go off. The beeping meant something pretty serious had happened and then you’d rush to the detachment ready to assist.

    The crimes ranged anywhere from robbery to domestic violence to homicide. It definitely opened my eyes to a different world that our emergency personel (fire, ambulance and police) are exposed to every day.

    I will never forget my time as a Victim Support Worker or the people that I interacted with and am blessed that I had the opportunity.

  46. JoelWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 1:46pm PDT

    Recently I volunteered to drive runners running in the relay to end children’s cancer as they ran from Squamish to whistler. It was an incredible experience seeing so many people rallying and raising money for such a wonderful cause. Not only did they fundraise for months before, but the day of the race they dealt with fatigue, heat, and wildlife, to make it to the finish and fulfill their commitment to all their sponsors. It was an incredible display of heart, with a wonderful cause benefitting

  47. AlisonWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 1:53pm PDT

    Each year a group of people at my work participate in a day of caring. This day is part of our larger United Way campaign. For the past three years we have volunteered at the Richmond Sharing Farm and spent the day harvesting fruits and veggies to go to local food banks. Last year we harvested over 1000 lbs of produce!

    I have returned to this event year after year because it is one of the most hands on ways I have found to give back. Seeing alll those fruits and veggies piled up, clean and ready to go to those in need is fantastic. I imagine that if you use a food bank it’s not too often you get fresh , organic produce. Being able to help provide it is amazing!

    I’ll be there this year again, getting my hands dirty and working with my co-workers to get another 1000 pounds of produce ready to go.

  48. ElysiaWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 2:35pm PDT

    My most recent volunteering experience is participating in the Great Canadian Shoreline Clean-up. It is a great way to keep shoreline animal diversity by preventing birds or seals from eating garbage that people throw away. While we were there with our tongs and garbage bags, we sent out a loud message to the people around us not to litter. To the people who smoke, I better not see you flick a cigarette butt onto the ground.

  49. carlyWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 3:07pm PDT

    I have done a ton of volunteering throughout my life, but my favorite experience was working with Me to We. They are such a great charity and I love what they stand for. I took part in the last WE DAY in Vancouver running a booth selling merchandise, as well as helping out with some planning and organizing. Volunteers play such a crucial role in event like this, and I feel blessed that I could help at last years WE DAY!

  50. Shannon MacWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 3:14pm PDT

    I have volunteered over the years both at UBC as a candy striper when i was younger and for the 12 years I was involved with Girl Guides. Girl Guides and Scouts participate in many different volunteer activities in and around their communites. I eventually became a leader. I am hoping to get back involved with the Guide and Scouting organization or help the Food Bank somehow.

  51. annWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 6:57pm PDT

    Volunteering with after school programs at elementary schools were the most memorable throughout my years of volunteering. As after school programs are free, kids that are not as privileged were able to participate. I still kept a card from one of the kids saying how grateful she was that we had a music program where kids can come and learn music instruments for free. As her parents couldn’t afford paying for music lessons, at our music program she was able to learn someone she loved to do. It is always great when you know you made a difference in a kid’s life.

  52. Andy C.Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 7:03pm PDT

    I did a 9 month, full-time stint of volunteering through a government program in the past. It was a great experience as I lived in different parts of the country doing various types of community service such as finishing the construction of a fish hatchery, assisting the town “custodian” in a small prairie town and archiving a small English paper in Quebec. For me, it was invaluable work experience that taught me how to keep a job and get along with people. For the communities involved, they benefited by getting services they could not otherwise afford. Maybe it’s time to do something again?

  53. Alex K.Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 9:05pm PDT

    Volunteering for 4 years at a hospital while I was in high school really opened my eyes to the world. My initial plan was to just stay for the summer and finish my required hours of service to receive my diploma but as time went on, I grew attached to my peers and the patients we assisted. During my time there, I heard inspirational stories of triumph over incurable diseases from patients and their families but there were also many that were not as lucky. This experience really pushed me to not take life for granted and to take risks and push my boundaries. It showed me firsthand how quickly life can slip away no matter how old or healthy you may be.

  54. PortiaWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 9:19pm PDT

    This past summer, I traveled to South East Asia and volunteered at one of the poorest countries, Cambodia. the two weeks spent at an orphanage was one of the most rewarding experiences are my life. The children taught me a great deal and I have come back with a brand new perspective and humbled by this experience.

  55. SherryWednesday, September 7th, 2011 — 10:46pm PDT

    I volunteer for a variety of organizations throughout the year but last year was the first time I volunteered with West Coast Leaf. I was on the Equality Breakfast Committee. I have admired the work done by this organization for many years but didn’t feel qualified to be a volunteer. I discovered I was wrong and did have something to bring to the table. The cause is just, the people are great and the Breakfast was fun and informative. Please join me next March at their Equality Breakfast.

  56. LucyThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 12:03am PDT

    Throughout my university years I have volunteered for a dozen or more events in and around the lower mainland. What surprised me the most is how passionate each of these volunteers were… though none of them were paid for what they do yet they always bring their best attitude and sense of humor. I love what volunteer brings out in all of us.

  57. Angie RaiThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 12:53am PDT

    I always dreamed about volunteering and building a school in Africa but I always visualized this dream coming true after I had retired, way later in life and not at the age of 22. However, this all changed when I decided to take part in a trip to Kenya with the organization Free The Children. Three months prior to the start of my trip, I began fundraising the costs required to participate. By holding numerous bake sales, fundraising dinners and raffles, I was able to raise $8,500 towards my cause. I then took part in the trip of a lifetime, joining other young people from across North America in the building of a school in Kenya. Once I returned from my trip, I volunteered at the annual We Day and then found myself working full-time for the organization at their Vancouver office. I have now decided to take my dream further by doing my MBA at SFU and starting my own social enterprise to be able to change the world on a larger scale. Volunteering has therefore not only opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist in my community, but also to the possibilities that exist within me.

  58. CherylThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 6:11am PDT

    My Mom has been a big inspiration for volunteering. She raised us as a single Mom but always took the time to volunteer and help the community. For years she volunteered tirelessly with a local crisis centre in the evenings after her full-time job and most recently she proudly volunteered for the Olympics. She taught me that these are the kinds of legacies you want to leave in your community.

  59. Sandy TrojansekThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 6:32am PDT

    Nine years ago, my husband passed away very suddenly of heart-related causes. After the shock wore off, I wanted to find a way to give back and help raise money and awareness to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. A few months later, I volunteered for their Walk For Heart fundraising event, and raised thousands of dollars for the organization. I participated in the event the following year, as well.

    Having this opportunity helped me tremendouslydeal, and the support of my friends, family, and the wonderful people at Heart and Stroke inspired me to get through a very difficult period in my life. Thank you for having this wonderful contest!

  60. JeremyThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 8:12am PDT

    Every year I volunteered at the MathChallenger competition being held by APEGBC. The competition is a math competitoned held for grade 8 and grade 9 students to keep them interested in Math. This made me realized how smart some of the grade 8 and 9 could be.

  61. gail whitworthThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 8:25am PDT

    It was always neccessary in my family that we give back to the community by volunteering and my parents led by example. My 86 year old mother still caters events for the Peachland Hospital Auxillary and has been in this role for the last 25 years. Prior to this she volunteered on the Peachland Seniors Housing, as Secretary which saw the first phase of that community’s housing completed.
    As a Surrey teacher, for 16 years I worked Wednesday a.m. and volunteered my services in the school in the afternoon, as did my teaching partner. As teachers with special needs training we found that we could reach many of our students who required more one to one teaching strategies. Of course, in a school, most teachers volunteer their time in one capacity or another. This is needed in order to allow the school community to thrive. Teachers are well aware of their role in the community, and volunteer knowing that most of our students attend, not for required subjects but for the sports teams, the musicals, the leadership teams, dance clubs, chess club, and talent shows that we provide.

  62. RubyThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 9:39am PDT

    I used to be a member of the Green Team and volunteered my time by tackling environmental issues around the city, such as cleaning up and restoring areas.
    Volunteering is important in your city as it goes a long way towards creating a healthy community. When you take part in any type of activity, you get connected to other people and also educate yourself with the environment problems we are facing currently, and how you can spread the word to the rest of the community on how to keep our city clean.
    I do encourage more people do participate in this as it does benefit everyone at the end.

  63. BethThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 9:48am PDT

    I have a long history of volunteering, starting when I was a volunteer in the Chronic Care ward at my local hospital when I was in high school. The most challenging volunteer position I ever held was as a Victim Services Volunteer with my local police when I was in university. We supported victims of crime and tragedy, including doing death notifications with police officers to support the family. My most recent act of volunteerism was playing hockey for 10 days in the world record breaking Longest Game of Hockey to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis (http://longestgame4cf.com/)! In addition to the 40 of us who played in the most grueling game of hockey ever, there were legions of volunteers who supported every aspect of the game – a fantastic example of volunteerism if ever there was one!

  64. Sandra SThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 12:10pm PDT

    I have an amazing friend that is a big inspiration. She dedicates a lot of her time to volunteering at her local animal shelter. For some reason she always ends up finding stray animals, and she spends a lot of her time and money on getting them all cleaned up and healthy again and then trying to find a home for them. She inspires me and I have nursed back quite a few animals back to health myself, stray kittens, birds etc.

  65. Ian YThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 1:12pm PDT

    I volunteered this past summer along with group of “fishingwithrod” members! Its goal was to introduce beginners, and mainly children, how to enjoy the sport of fishing. Not only that, it allows us to teach them how to respect nature, and the dos or don’t along with the proper fishing etiquette! I for one would have benefited from this if I knew they had such a thing for beginner years ago!

  66. IrisThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 1:27pm PDT

    Some say the youth of today are lazy and are trouble makers but this is not the case when it comes to my 15 year old daughter. She has been volunteering locally by being a LINK crew leader in her school. She volunteers in her community by being a LIT (leader in training 2010) and then a QUEST leader (2011) in the Parks and Recreation program in our city. She spent her summer helping in a Preschool program, teaching soccer as well as helping in art classes. She has volunteered Globally by saving up her money from her paper route to fund a trip to Mexico with the Hero Holiday program where she assisted in building a house for a family in need. She is an amazing teen and is a true inspiration to her friends and family.

  67. Amber HarderThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 1:32pm PDT

    I am a big believer in the power of people and I have dedicated much of my time since middle school to volunteering. I have volunteered with soup kitchens, campaign trails, homeless shelters, sports events, music events, festivals, building projects and more. I have organized and recruited volunteers as a volunteer. Community participation will strengthen individuals as well as the community they live in. On my path to find what I truly want to do with my life, I have supported all of the people around me in helping them to achieve their goals. I think Timeraiser is such an excellent idea and I will not miss it this year!

  68. KathyThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 1:41pm PDT

    I have volunteered with Out of the Cold since November 2010. As a team, the Out of the Cold group cooks and serves food, sing, play music, talk and pray for Downtown Eastside residents throughout the year. During the winter, we open up Tenth Church and give shelter to the needy. What started out as a temporary voluntary position turned into a permanent one for me, as I serve food and chat with guests twice a month.

    As well, I also volunteer with three organizations as a Social Media Manager who handles Twitter and Facebook accounts. I do social media for BCAMA, Agape Concierge and Eternity Modern. Earlier this year, I also helped BC Student Forum as a volunteer Team Member; helping to set up their annual leadership conference. Needless to say, I find it hard to decline and help out whenever I can.

  69. Brent BowkerThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 2:58pm PDT

    My wife is an inspiring volunteer. She volunteers each week to tutor a little girl as part of the Big Sisters study buddy program. It is clear that this volunteer experience means a lot to both participants involved and that the program is desperately needed for kids across the lower mainland in need of school assistance. In addition to serving as a role model (read: “Big Sister”) my wife is able to help this child be successful where in a larger classroom she wouldn’t get this kind of needed attention. She has inspired me to find my own volunteer area!

  70. Don McQueenThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 6:22pm PDT

    I organized country and western dances which were fundraisers for A Loving Spoonful. Because the dances were fundraisers and everyone involved was a volunteer, I was able to arrange discounted rates for the hall rental, free sound system rental, special prizes from sponsors, and free advertising and printing. Because of the generosity of the sponsors, we were able to keep our costs to a minimum and over the years we provided A Loving Spoonful with over $35,000 in contributions which went toward the provision of nutritional meals for those living with HIV/AIDS who were not able to prepare their own nutritional meals.

    Volunteering allowed me to raise money for a greatly needed service and at the same time allowing people to enjoy an evening of dancing and socializing.

  71. CaitlinThursday, September 8th, 2011 — 9:52pm PDT

    Volunteering is a huge part of my life. Throughout middle school and high school I always volunteered at community events like The Teddy Bear Picnic and Hats Off Day but by my final year of high school I initiated a land conservation club raising money for the Nature Trust of BC. Not only did we dedicate many lunch hours to hosting fundraisers and brainstorming ideas but we also spent quite a few weekends doing bottle drives, etc.

    Now in my last year of my BA, I can proudly say I have continued going back to my old high school every year to run the club and help the students raise money for a worthy cause and organization all while learning about the environment and land conservation.

    After being diagnosed with epilepsy in my first year of University I became an Ambassador for Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness and volunteer spreading awareness throughout my university and around the community. I also spread awareness via social media. Even though I am in spontaneous remission and no longer have epilepsy, I still continue to volunteer my time to help spread awareness.

    Much of my volunteer work has opened the doors not only to further volunteer opportunities but also job opportunities that I may have never come across otherwise. Volunteering is incredibly important and is a wonderful way to really discover your true passions as I was able to. Thanks to my volunteering I will graduate in a year knowing I want to work in environmental communications.

  72. SharonFriday, September 9th, 2011 — 1:02am PDT

    I like to volunteer in ways that allow me to help out causes I care about and use special skills at the same time. For example, I volunteered for several years coaching youth sport. It was a great way for me to help kids stay out of trouble, and also for me to pass on the skills other volunteers taught me when I was young.

  73. DeanFriday, September 9th, 2011 — 5:52am PDT

    I have been involved in North Vancouver Youth Soccer for a couple of years. I have coached, managed and help fund raise thousands of dollars to help young children in Africa be able to afford the most basic of soccer equipment. Shoes and Balls. It is an incredible experience seeing young children improve their athletic and mental confidence through sport. It is something I feel helps develop and prepare them to be valuable contributors to society. We all win.

  74. Graham HFriday, September 9th, 2011 — 11:12am PDT

    I help lead a group of 9-12 year old boys at my church. They are energetic and sweet boys. It’s easy to entertain them often just the fact that a ‘cool’ guy is hanging out with them is enough. I always am thinking of things that these guys will like to do. At this age I find it’s about engagement and fun. That’s what will help become polite productive members of society.

  75. Trina IsaksonFriday, September 9th, 2011 — 1:17pm PDT

    I serve on the board of directors for Canadian Women Voters Congress and had the opportunity recently to engage a group of young women volunteer research associates, and was thrilled to see them in action. While volunteering so often is seen as literally giving a helping hand, I enjoyed working with these volunteers who contribute their research, communication, and collaboration skills to help further our work supporting women’s success in politics and leadership.

  76. JenFriday, September 9th, 2011 — 4:22pm PDT

    I have volunteered at various organizations, but one of the most memorable for me was when I volunteered for Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities in Langley. This amazing organization helps people of all ages with their dreams and goals of riding a horse, despite any type of barrier they may face. It was such a great feeling to go out there, in the countryside, be with the horses, help out in any way I could, so people can have horseback riding lessons. I would do things from sweeping up the barn, muck stalls, groom the horses, tack the horses up and my most enjoyable part was “sidewalking”. Sidewalking is walking along side the horse while the rider (who had a disability) was on the horse. I would help guide the horse, help the rider stay on the horse comfortably, basically there for support in any way for the rider to fully enjoy their riding lesson. I love animals and work in the health care field now supporting people become as independent in their lives as possible, so volunteering with Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities was a great fit for me, and I was proud to offer my skills and time to a great organization 🙂

  77. GarySaturday, September 10th, 2011 — 8:43pm PDT

    My spouse and I try to instill the value of giving back into our kids. Each week, we take our two boys (ages 7 and 3) out in our neighbourhood with ‘garbage pickers’ and a couple of bags – one to hold garbage, the other to hold recyclable material. My eldest takes great pride in keeping the neighbourhood clean! And while the kids are too young in most cases to volunteer with actual organizations, we ask our eldest where he would like to donate money each year, and he then earns donation money by doing chores around the home. So far, he has donated to the SPCA and to Surrey Memorial Hospital. As the kids grow older, we look forward to more volunteering opportunities that can involve the whole family.

  78. TeresaSunday, September 11th, 2011 — 10:16am PDT

    I have volunteered hundreds of hours in my life. However, today, I’d love to give my loving grandmother the credit she deserves. My grandma has volunteered thousands if not tens of thousands of hours to help those in need. Even though she is 76 years old and has limited vision, my grandma spends her time helping friends, family and strangers. For years, my grandmother has provided other seniors with legal, financial and tax advice. What does this mean? For example, this has meant that she has helped others find ways to get their health care needs met, or be able to afford their next meal or basic housing costs. A lot of her time has been spent at the seniors’ 411 centre in downtown Vancouver. My grandma gives back more than anyone I know. She has told me that she will continue to do so until she no longer can. What an inspiration! She inpires me to give back and for me to encourage others to do the same.

  79. AndreaSunday, September 11th, 2011 — 10:27am PDT

    My 5 year old niece was born with cerebral palsy. Since she lives in the UK, I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like to. I know that community programs and volunteer based events make her life richer in England, so I thought I would try and give something small back in Vancouver. I applied to volunteer with a young woman with Muscular Dystrophy, who had requested a pool aid to swim with her and help her in the change rooms. Now, I was pretty trepedatious at first, not knowing how to maneuver her around in the wheelchair, what would be helpful, what would hinder, or even how to talk to her and get to know her. Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to spend my evenings with a smart, witty, brave girl who patiently helped me learn how to help her. Working with her, as well as other physically incapacitated people at the pool, has really helped me connect more easily with my niece in England. Before volunteering, I was pretty clueless and rather ignorant about the challenges faced by someone with a physical disability, as well as their families. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to learn patience, compassion and understanding. And I made a new friend.

  80. CatSunday, September 11th, 2011 — 6:55pm PDT

    I have volunteered for many years, including working with youth in the Navy League Cadet Program, the Vancouver Aquarium as a teacher and was most recently part of the Vancouver Olympic Games. The Games were the most rewarding for me, because I got to show my city off to the world! It also opened up so many legacy experiences for me, including going to Russia to inspire youth to volunteer for the Sochi Olympics in 2014 (http://www.vancouversun.com/travel/Students+bring+volunteering+lessons+2010+Winter+Games+Sochi/5254679/story.html). What an amazing opportunity to share an integral part of our culture with eager youth!
    I’m also so privileged to work with the Vancouver Aquarium, teaching kids about conservation and the importance of our oceans for their generation! I love being able to make a positive impact on future generations!

  81. Lois PattersonMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 9:09am PDT

    I’m always amazed by the generosity of the volunteers who give their time to produce and manage artistic and theatrical events. Without them, Vancouver would have meager cultural offerings. Most recently, I saw these volunteers in action at the International Vancouver Fringe Festival. They make all of our lives more culturally enriched.

  82. MargaretMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 10:15am PDT

    Although I’ve done a lot of volunteer work in my life, I’m not terribly good at tooting my own horn but I will tell you about one cause I did donate my time to and why…
    I had a very dear friend die of AIDS in the 90’s. He suffered so much. So many different diseases under that one disease. And then of course the stigma, lack of education, funding and research for that matter. Several times he was so close to death that we would be making funeral arrangements only to have him miraculously wake up the next day. To cope, he would joke that he was like “frosty the snowman” HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! he would say the next day! Helps to have a sense of humour when facing this.

    Like so many diseases, issues in this world, some people choose not to think about these things until it affects them. To pay my respects to my friend Gordie, every year I would donate my time to “Dining out for Life” in order to help them raise money and awareness!

    P.S Timeraiser sounds amazing, any chance it will come to Victoria? Thanks and good luck to all the participants!!!!

  83. SummerMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 10:44am PDT

    I worked and volunteered for many years at a Humane Society, and was always amazed by the dedication of some of our special needs volunteers. Rain or shine or 30 below, they would take public transit to come to the shelter and walk dogs, snuggle cats, help out in the office or help clean the building. Couldn’t have done it without them!

  84. LouiseMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 11:18am PDT

    Until a back injury sidelined me, I volunteered Pony Pals. They are an awesome outfit in Delta who work with kids and adults with life challenges. On my first day “on the job” I was first tasked with grooming and saddling up 3 muddy ponies. Then the kids arrived. I’m sure the looks on the kids faces as they climb aboard the ponies never gets old. I had 2 students. Both were about 7 years old. Both got more enjoyment from walking and trotting around that ring for 30 minutes than most adults get from winning the Lotto.

    Towards the end of the second lesson, the pony I was leading spun wildly at a loud crash out the back of the barn (let me add here the horses are the best trained, gentlest “equine therapists” I have ever met, but this crash made every person and animal in hearing distance jump!), with his small charge atop. I thought “oh Christ, he’s gonna go flying”. Hell, I’ve seen seasoned pros go flying when horses spin like that!

    However as I regained control of the pony, fully expecting that the kid was somewhere crumpled on the ground, I realized I was looking up into the smiling face of his rider.. “wow that was FUN!” he said.. “He went soooo fast! I hung on tight” “You sure did!” I said- breathing once more.. and in that moment, we both learned that the unexpected is sometimes more fun than just going the predictable route.

  85. MisskherMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 11:34am PDT

    I have volunteered in the past, but I just wanted to use this opportunity to thank the many volunteers that came out in full force during the 2010 Olympics. It was amazing to see so many people dedicate their time and energy to making them the best Olympics ever. People from all over the world were so impressed by our beautiful city thanks to these volunteers. I strive to be like them!

  86. Atta GlanzMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 11:45am PDT

    Mary was one of my volunteers who came faithfully every Thursday morning. She was 98 and we often had coffee at then end of her shift. One day she made me laugh so hard when she said “I come here to volunteer because the other people in my retirement home are so old and all they do is complain about it.” Mary carried ‘sets’ of coins- a twoonie, loonie, quarter, dime, nickel and penny that she gave as souveniers to young tourists who came to the Art Gallery. A true ambassador for the city!

  87. Kyle RudgeMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 1:06pm PDT

    I volunteer each year with senior high youth at the church I attend however it’s rare the ‘volunteering’ starts there. I don’t know how many coffees I’ve had with the youth outside of the ‘volunteer time’. It’s not a chore it’s incredibly life-giving.

    One day at 4am my wife and I got an email (I’m awake due to my horrendous work hours) and saw that it was one of the youth’s friends. We’d never met this friend but she knew of us as the youth spoke fondly of us. She contacted us because she was genuinely concerned for the youth as she was displaying a lot more of the warning signs for a possible suicide. We called 911 and saved her life. We stayed with her through the depression, the counseling, the drugs, and still stand by her day by day despite being now in her twenties.

    The best part was a year later she posted a picture on facebook. She was holding a very vibrantly decorated sign saying, “I’m alive because you cared.” and then tagged both my wife and I in it.

    Amazing. Volunteering doesn’t just save lives, it makes lives worth living. 🙂

  88. Tyler DoyleMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 1:14pm PDT

    I used to work in radio and love being out and about promoting and helping others. I volunteered and helped start a local chapter of kidsport along with rasing money for local charities in my spare time. A big focus of mine lately is Cancer since it has affected so many people in so many terrible ways. I volunteer and give my time to raise money for various cancer related events. I would like to win this contest to fly to another city in Canada to visit Mo-Bro’s and Mo-Sista’s helping the fight against prostate cancer.

  89. Julie HillMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:06pm PDT

    Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the volunteers that shared in my mom’s battle with cancer. They made her battle a little less painful and above all a little less lonely. I know how much they touched the life of my mom but it is my journey through my grief that I see the love that one person can contribute by the simple act of volunteering.

    In the many times of feeling sad and angry while I sat with my mom in the hospice, I would be offered, some hot coffee, a snack or magazine, and a warm blanket to soften the hard chair that I sat and even slept on night and day holding my mom’s hand. Beyond those offerings, it was the smile that the volunteer offered that meant the most to me. The volunteers at the hospice were the friend to lean on and help take care of the small simple things to comfort the grieving families.

    Since being offered this kindness from volunteers I can only hope that I have made the difference in someone else’s life through volunteering. I hope I was and am still the friendly smile to brighten someone’s day. Volunteers are irreplaceable as they are the face of love that can soften the loneliness of others.

  90. Mike McKagueMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:16pm PDT

    I’ve always coached loved coaching. Over the last 25 years I have volunteered with lots of different organizations to help their athletes achieve their goals. Over the last 8 years, I’ve volunteered with a local running store and helped over 300 people run their first marathon. Many of the people who sign up for my clinics have never been coached before, and are usually surprised with how capable they are in achieving their goals. Many of my previous athletes have now gone on to bigger and better things…visiting Mt. Everest base camp, racing in the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Things they never thought were possible. Their stories have inspired 1000s of others to begin their own achievement journeys. I’m very proud of them all.

  91. KimMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:18pm PDT

    My passion for volunteering really blossomed when I was in high school. As part of my Leadership class we volunteered at many, many community events. When I went away to university I quickly found volunteer organizations that I could donate my time to in order to give back and learn about my new community. I spent the next four years as a Peer Support Counsellor (providing a confidential, students-helping-students space at my university), helping to develop and implement a Student Leadership program, being a student representative to faculty hiring committees and finance boards, running a university-level History Club, organizing numerous conferences, and volunteering as a youth leader in my community. After graduation from my first degree I began volunteering as a Career Counsellor at my new university, and my passion for volunteering has done nothing but increase! In three weeks I will be going back to my hometown as a student teacher, and one of my classes will be leadership! I’m going back to the place it all started in hopes of inspiring the next generation and teaching them valuable lessons they won’t fully understand until they are much older.

  92. Robert HenningMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:29pm PDT

    Hi Folks .. I have been a volunteer in the emergency department at The Credit Valley Hospital, in Mississauga, Ontario for over 21 years. Volunteering is my way of giving a little bit back to my community. By freeing the staff from small chores they have more time to spend with our patients. I have taught this to my two girls who also volunteered at CVH during their teen years. I hope you all can find a small way to help out in your community.

  93. StephanieMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:32pm PDT

    This past weekend I volunteered for the 2011 Kidney March. I raised $2,200 to go towards Kidney Disease and completed a 100 kilometre walk over 3 days.

    I met so many amazing people and heard some amazing stories and truly hope to spread the word on kidney disease and the importance of organ donation! Over 70% of people who are waiting on the organ donation list are waiting for a kidney (and most people have TWO of them). It’s a heart breaking disease that can effect young and old people! Truly a great cause, and an AMAZING experience that I was privileged to be a part of!!!!

  94. SueMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:43pm PDT

    I have been volunteering in my local church for 6 years now. I volunteer in different areas from The Youth Group, The Cafe, in different plays we have put on, The Bookstore to Media in the sound booth. Seeing people respond to the hard work and time we put in to making a Sunday church service happen is totally worth waking up extra early on a Sunday morning- lets face it, we all love to sleep in on the weekend! My church is a big family, we support and run many organizations in our city, including a Samaritan Inn for single, lost and abused mothers and women. A youth group for the many youth whom have grown up in hurting and unfullfilling situations. Connect groups for different people to get together to learn and grow in their relationships and spiritual relationship. To bigger operations such as “The Great Toy Giveaway” that my church put on. This event invited a small, inner city school to come and for every registered student to recieve a Christmas gift that would be appropriate for their age etc. This event impacted me greatly because so many of these childrens families were unable to buy presents for their children. They came from poor, low income areas of our city- and seeing the smiles on the faces of those children made my own life problems seem so miniscial. I love to volunteer, it makes you seem selfless, it makes life worth it and it makes you feel like you are fullfilling what you are on Earth to do. I am so excited for the new fall season, we are hosting a Womens Conferance and will be giving single moms special gifts. I am a hairdresser, and will be donating Love Yourself packages (hair product and haircut and style, product and color and haircut). Some of these ladies can’t afford to treat themselves to services we take for granted, and I am so excited to see what kind of impact we will have on these womens lives! Thanks for reading this, have an awesome week.

  95. Daisy CunardMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 2:56pm PDT

    I volunteer at my childrens school every week.I am always there if they need me.Being a parent is the most important job in the world.After all they are the future 🙂

  96. Dari1an K0vacsMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 4:17pm PDT

    I met Pauline when I was 15.

    I’d just started volunteering for a soup kitchen at Main & Cordova called “Food on the Corner”. Pauline was the seasoned one. She was in her 70’s back then, and I have no idea how many years she’d been sky-training all the way out from Burnaby to hand out food on Saturdays. Everyone knew her. She had this way of making eye contact hand contact when she talked with you that made you feel like you were safe.

    In December of that year, Vancouver had just received its semi-annual slushy inch of snow. I saw a woman swaying / hobbling her way down the street towards the food line, and I noticed her bare feet slapping through the slush. As she got closer, I could see the dark tinges of blue creeping up from her toes to her ankles.

    Pauline noticed too. She walked over and alongside the woman, slowly inserting her small body underneath the other’s arm and putting her own arm around the woman’s waist. She gradually guided her over to the bench, got her the standard white styrofoam cup of soup, and sat down beside her.

    Pauline then proceeded to take off her wooly Ugg boots, and then her thick gray socks. She wiped the woman’s feet off, slowly, until every bit was dry, then put a sock and boot on each foot.

    The woman walked away with warm feet. Pauline went and found some plastic bags inside the truck to tie around her feet, and went on handing out the styrofoam soup cups.

  97. NatalieMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 4:50pm PDT

    I have a special place in my heart for those that suffer from any mental or physical disability. There are always opportunities for people to help out families that have children with special needs and I have always enjoyed being able to help. My favorite volunteer work was with a young girl in elementary school. I would go to the school at lunch hour and just play with her to give the care aids that spent all day with her a break. Another volunteer opportunity that I have been involved with is ‘Friendship Club’. This is something that happens every Tuesday night at some churches, and I’ve been involved with a couple clubs in the past few years just going to help with crafts and singing and story telling. Meeting different individuals with special needs just warms my heart, and spending time with them is something I could do every day for the rest of my life. All of God’s children are special and need to be loved 🙂

  98. Amanda CarrascoMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 8:28pm PDT

    I volunteer my time working with people who are impacted by the sex industry. We don’t force anything on anyone but there are some people involved with the industry who want to get out and don’t know how. The people I volunteer with help people with sexual addictions, victims of human trafficking and women in the industry that want to make a change to something else. It has been a really unique opportunity and I have gotten to know some really amazing people. It is a really great thing to help people see the value in themselves!

  99. Colleen CMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 8:33pm PDT

    Two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to lead a ten week long leadership and public speaking skills program for local youth.

    At the beginning of the program we set the ground rules. They were there to discover the voice within them, all topics were open for discussion. The group was going to be unconditionally supportive of each other – giving speeches can be nerve wracking! And we were all there to have fun as well as learn new skills!

    Every Saturday morning, we would meet for two hours. I would share information on how to build speaking and leadership skills and the students would present speeches, do debates and rotate through leadership roles within the group.

    What was amazing to me, was that the students were participating the in program in their spare time during the school year – and were doing so very enthusiastically. The amount of research and preparation they put into their presentations was phenomenal. We heard speeches about school, basketball, weather patterns and trains! We learned what it was like to grow up in Jordan, shared what it was like to experience a terrorist attack, heard great family stories, and some sad ones too.

    At the end of the program, I asked our Mayor to come and meet our group of students and present them with their diplomas. It was an exciting day for the students and they were thrilled to have the chance to meet the Mayor and have photos taken with her.

    One of the things that was important to me, was to keep the program flexible and to listen to the student’s suggestions and implement them as much as possible. About half way through the program, one of the student’s brought up the idea of “Warm Fuzzies” as an addition to our ceremonies at our graduation event. At the end of the program, each participant handed a personal note to every other participant. The notes were personal, heartfelt and uplifting. I still have mine.

    Occasionally, I hear from the students through Facebook. Several are in College and University now, and they are still giving speeches. I have no doubt, they are changing the world with the voices they discovered within themselves during our time together.

    I am so grateful to have been a part of that discovery.

  100. LauraMonday, September 12th, 2011 — 11:47pm PDT

    To me, volunteering means giving up time and effort to simply help those around you who really need help. My interest in volunteering started in my early years at high school. My first take on volunteering started out by joining a school club. This club was dedicated to giving disabled students in the LifeSkills program a chance to interact with the rest of the student body. My commitment to this program began simply by spending a few hours a week playing games and reading books with the class. Not before long, my involvement became so much more meaningful once I began to build a connection with the students in the class. We started having luncheons, us volunteers making pancakes and serving the prepared food to the students. I could soon grasp the genuine appreciation and gratitude these students expressed to us and I felt a sense of pride and joy that my mere presence could make a small difference.

  101. SteveTuesday, September 13th, 2011 — 8:18am PDT

    I volunteered at a hospital helping staff and patients with everything you can imagine. It feels good to give something and expect nothing in return except a smile on their face!

  102. MichelleTuesday, September 13th, 2011 — 5:43pm PDT

    Finally this year I’ve had a chance to volunteer w/Beauty Nights Society..I had a chance to teach Pilates (& stretching/fitness) to women that live on the streets or in low-income housing/situations who don’t typically have access to something like Pilates or other fitness. The first time I taught a Pilates class to the ladies at Beauty Night..they raved about it. It has been a beacon of light for me in some recent difficult personal times..(that have prevented me from teaching there for a while)..
    I can’t wait until I can get back there & offer my services & experiences to them again! I’ll also be doing massage, some workshops & other activities with Beauty Nights Society this & next year. It’s huge to be able to offer my skills in such a way to such incredible & deserving women!

  103. Melissa (worldNP)Tuesday, September 13th, 2011 — 8:30pm PDT

    It was always my dream to be a volunteer nurse in a developing country… I had no idea that I would end up in Haiti in the peak of a cholera epidemic. I volunteered in Haiti for a total of 5 months in 2010 following the January 12th earthquake that shattered a nation. The following is an email I wrote home on one of my trips while working in a cholera treatment center…

    put on gumboots & paper scrubs over your clothes. the heat inside is almost unbearable. step in bleach saturated sponges on your way in. go to first wash station and wash in 2% bleach solution. air dry. put on gloves. you will wear many pairs of them throughout the night. You’ll never be ungloved. sweat drips down your arms & your hands quickly turn into prunes. walk into the “severe” tent. criteria: severe dehydration, profuse diarrhea & vomiting. survey the room. begin rounds. IV bags are dry. replace them. IV lines are clotted. replace them. diapers & buckets spilling over. replace them. do a round of oral rehydration drinks to all the patients. half of them vomit within 10 minutes. round again. IV bags are dry, IV lines are clotted, diapers are overflowing. you get the point. mother stumbles in with her daughter. baby is not moving. arms, legs, neck is limp. eyes are sunken in. pinch the stomach to assess skin turgor/dehydration. skin stays in a perfectly formed mound. heart rate is rapid. this baby is dying. The mother has walked for hours to see us. 4 IV attempts before we go straight for the jugular. thank g*d for this vein that stays juicy until the bitter end. success! IV fluids going in. time to round. tap tap brings in 10 new patients from a nearby community. pace picks up although we were already running. all severely dehydrated. elderly & children assessed first. IVs in, fluids flowing. time to round. 12 hours later we rip off our soiled paper scrubs. wash with bleach solution until it burns our nose & stings our eyes. step in bleach soaked sponges on our way out. shower. bed. sleep. repeat.

    Many lives were saved that night, and several were not. Although very few still talk about it, the cholera crisis continues and hundreds of thousands still remain homeless, without food & healthcare following the earthquake over a year and a half ago. My work is far from over in this incredible country.

  104. LeanneTuesday, September 13th, 2011 — 10:34pm PDT

    I have seen how volunteering has come full circle in my family’s life and am grateful for the kind-hearted support from many strangers. For over 10 years, my Mom volunteered her time for the Burnaby Volunteers – Citizen Support Services. She assisted the elderly and people with disabilities with their grocery shopping every week. However, my Mom has had to take a break from volunteering to care for my Dad.

    Earlier this year, my Dad was diagnosed with stage 3 brain cancer. After his surgery to remove the tumour, he had to undergo six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy at the BC Cancer Agency. My Dad would not have been able to travel everyday to his treatments if not for the Freemason Driver Program. These volunteer drivers were compassionate and caring towards my parents during this highly stressful time. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the many individuals who have touched our family.

  105. Maureen RiederTuesday, September 13th, 2011 — 11:42pm PDT

    Of the many different events I have volunteered at over the years, one of my favourites is the Vancouver International Marathon. For the last few years, I have been a member of the cyclist escort team. We are a group of cyclists that lead the runners through the course. Two years ago, I led the 2nd place male across the finish line, then circled back to guide others taking part and my day finished several hours later when I was with the very last man making sure he had plenty of cheers as he struggled to complete the race. This past year, I had the privilege of leading in the first place female runner who completed the marathon in record time, well ahead of the other female runners. She had a smile on her face throughout the entire run and we chatted intermittently along the way. She expressed her appreciation for having me lead her and give her cheers of encouragement and at one point she asked me to stay with her to the finish. My team captain wanted to switch me out with a different cyclist at one point, but I told him that she (the lead female) had specifically requested that I be the one to lead her across the finish line. I happily did and later that day she thanked me in her interview with reporters who were speaking to her about her win.

    Over the years, my wife & I have both volunteered at many and various events (runs, rides, marathons, triathlons, …) and thoroughly enjoy it every time. We also take part in runs & rides sometimes and know the direct positive impact of someone on the sidelines giving you that cheer you need to keep on going. It is very fulfilling and our plans are to continue being volunteers for future events making sure that every participant, whether he or she is the first place finisher, or the last one to cross the finish line, that each one feel special and know that they have the support they need along the way. 🙂

  106. Michaela W.Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 10:04am PDT

    Reading through these comments I am so touched by all the generosity of spirit of your readers – it’s nice to get a little reminder of the productive and hopeful possibilities we can create through working together for little more than the reward of knowing you’ve helped just one person, if not many.

    Since I was a child I have volunteered for many events and causes and think that it is important work for both the soul and for the community. In your ‘how to enter’ blurb you mention that you’d like to hear about how we have seen a volunteer in action – and how they have impacted someone else’s life or my own. I have to say that all the comments above are far more inspiring to me than I could have imagined. There are some truly wonderful people out there. This has inspired me to give a little more of myself than I have been lately – and to start with, I’d love to come along to the Timeraiser event to offer my time up. What a fantastic idea – and what a fantastic opportunity.

  107. LindsayWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 11:57am PDT

    In 2007 just 3 months the birth of my daughter I suffered a critical illness and ended up in hospital for over 5 months. Every day before my husband went to work nights he would come visit me and during his time off and throughtout the day my family would all take turns coming by to visit and bring my infant daughter to see me. There were are few weeks when in critical care I didn’t get any visitors other than family and there were days and days that would go by that I didn’t see my infant daughter because of a flu outbreak in the hospital it wasn’t safe for her to come. It’s lonely and scary being in the hosptial but every day I had visitors from a local church and the hospital volunteers coming to see me every day to try and make the long hard days of being so ill just a little bit brighter. Having the volunteers come in also gave my family a chance to have a break from my bedside and go home for some much needed rest. I am forever grateful for the kindhearted volunteers who were there for me when I was lonely, sad and scared. I wish they could all know how grateful I am for their compassion.
    I am happy to say I am healthy today and I devote much of my time and efforts into volunteer work for my community and to help raise funds for non-profits throught my business.

  108. MelissaWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 12:07pm PDT

    I have a younger brother who is developmentally challenged. His passion has always been basketball. My mom watched and as my brother grew, the opportunities for him to participate in the sport he loved dwindled, as his peers’ skills and level of game surpassed his abilities. So, she did what most parents would want to do, but often don’t know how…she created the opportunity to play for him. My mom founded the Developmentally Challenged Youth Basketball Association in Vancouver. What started as a small group of young men is now a league, with teams across the Lower Mainland. As I am now a mom of two, myself, I can appreciate what drove my mom. As a parent, you want your child to feel included, valued and confident…I hope I can follow her example. Aside from my brother, there are so many young men who have benefitted from her drive and determination.

  109. AllisonWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 12:30pm PDT

    I have been a volunteer with the Abbotsford Airshow for the past six years. Over that time I’ve worked beside hundreds of other volunteers who are not only aviation enthusiasts, but also proud to give back to those visiting military members who give their lives and time for our countries. Two years ago I met my now fiance, who was a visiting military member and that one chance meeting has changed my life for forever. I am also now the volunteer coordinator for the show and have had the pleasure to work extensively with our volunteers, to hear their stories, and help make new memories with them. Finding a job that allows me to do this has been priceless.

  110. YasmineWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 12:53pm PDT

    I have been a Canuck Place Hospice Reception Volunteer (www.canuckplace.org) since 2003 and it has been the most rewarding experience of my life! CP encourages each child to ‘embrace life’ and does its utmost to enhance the quality of each child at CP. CP is open to all BC children up to 19 with a progressive and life-threatening illnesses. Although these children have many health challenges, I see them and their families smiling, laughing, embrasing and enjoying life. What an inspiration they are to me. It is such a privilege and honour to be part of such a wonderful team that helps children have the best day possible everyday.

  111. CaitWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 12:57pm PDT

    Volunteering as a dog walker at the Victoria BC SPCA is more selfish than it is helpful. Not only do I get to walk, pet, and play with different dogs every week but, over the years, I have started matching dogs with their forever homes. I think I get more joy out of it than they do. 🙂

  112. MargaWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 1:04pm PDT

    As a new immigrant to Canada I was amazed of the volunteerism culture of this city, the passion and devotion people put into different causes made a mark in my new life as a Canadian.

    I’ve been fortunate to volunteer for the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada in many capacities, and I’ve witness first hand what a group of driven volunteers can do. Volunteers can change the world.

    Even although the work I’ve done for not-for-profit association is more industry oriented volunteer work, it allowed me to meet all kinds of people that make a difference in social and humanitarian needs. Thru the GDC I’ve got the opportunity to volunteer my time for Compassionate Eye, Room to Read and Minerva Foundation.

    My contribution was more in graphics and communications, but in order to do good design I needed to understand each of these non-for-profits to really make a difference in the way they communicate their messages. During that process, getting to know the values, mission and the people who volunteer their time for the cause, is always rewarding and humbling.

    The thing that moves these organizations is the passion of all the volunteers, so there are not enough words that could summon how thankful I am for those who commit their time and their hearts.

  113. LauraBWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 4:56pm PDT

    Previously I was a volunteer softball coach for a minor girls team. Coming from a smaller community, the only way sports teams are able to continue is through the volunteers. These girls were given an outlet for team building as well as a great chance to get outside and enjoy the beautiful BC weather! The minor league softball program has in the past been at risk of not continuing due to lack of volunteer coaches and the like. It felt good to be able to contribute to something that people love to do.
    Seeing the increase in self-esteem of the young players, as well as making long lasting friendships, its something you can’t put a price on.

  114. RobynWednesday, September 14th, 2011 — 5:37pm PDT

    I have been volunteering with Girl Guides of Canada in my local District for 11 years, originally joining to spend time with MY daughters. Now I look forward to my favourite day of the week spending time with OTHER PEOPLE’s daughters, teaching them camping skills, talking about current & life events, helping them learn about the world around them as well as themselves, volunteering our unit to help in the community with the Food Bank, shut-ins, and street cleanups, and going on unique outings the girls ordinarily wouldn’t be able to do (ocean kayaking, snowshoeing, ziplining). These girls are turning into the leaders and volunteers of tomorrow through their work and involvement as youths – I am SO proud of them all!

  115. LizThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 10:11am PDT

    I’ve been volunteering with Dress for Success Vancouver for over three years now, and while I have had the chance to meet many inspirational women along the way, I’ve never been so inspired and touched by one woman in particular: Eloise. Eloise made her way through all of the programs at Dress for Success Vancouver; starting with dressing services, where she received her interview suit, then to the career centre, using our computers and phones, and finally to the Professional Women’s Group (PWG), a monthly support group for women just like herself. The network of support that Dress for Success Vancouver offered Eloise impacted her life in such a monumental way, she now dedicates her time by being an ambassador and testimonial speaker for the organization. It’s women like Eloise who inspire me to continue volunteering with Dress for Success Vancouver, and make me realize the life-changing impact the organization can have on women’s lives in Vancouver.

  116. Serena DeboltThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 6:48pm PDT

    I would love to tell you about our towns local food bank volunteers. Their selfless actions show community spirit and sure bring a ray of hope and sunshine to people in our town that need help the most. Hats off to the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society and the Sechelt Food Bank volunteers. You have shown us what true caring is all about!

  117. Mike BrowneThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 7:59pm PDT

    I have done a lot of volunteering, but I prefer to keep remain anonymous in how I do that. I’m not Superman or Spiderman or anything like that, just trying to keep my motives pure. Some friends told me that the best type of service is to people who have no clue who you are. You wouldn’t believe how tough it is to do a good deed and remain anonymous; if someone sees you it doesn’t count.

    As far as others volunteering goes, I come from a small town in Nova Scotia, where the fire department is 100% volunteer run. They put their lives on the line for the community. That’s heroism.

  118. Curtis sladeThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:01pm PDT

    I used to volunteer at the children’s hospital, did so for about 5 years, what a great experience, seeing the smiles on their faces when someone took the time to spend with them and have the patience to sit with them for hours on end night after night. Seeing the parents rest more comfortably during a stressful time.

  119. Karina EvaThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:03pm PDT

    One of the best experiences as a volunteer was this September 10th at the 2011 Mexico Fest, it was a massive event where I had the opportunity to participate and witness how a group of Mexican people entertained more that 5,000 people at the Poole Plaza, New Vancouver Convention Centre . I had volunteered in the past for other causes but this one was amazing, food, music, culture, people etc…and it was free.

  120. LisaThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:09pm PDT

    I am currently involved with the best volunteer experience of life, the Canada wide youth volunteer program called Katimavik. I’ve learned a lot about living in a group life and integrating into another community other then home in Canada. Helping this community through volunteer work and getting to know the people in the community. I really like program and I’m so to be a part of it.

  121. MarnieThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:10pm PDT

    My “volunteer” time comes in the form of acting as the sole caregiver for my prince charming who lives in end stage Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. People may not consider this as volunteer time, but believe me I am not reimbursed in any currency other than loving gratitude much like those that volunteer with strangers. My promise to him is to keep him in our home, surrounded by our zoo/therapists (3 cats and 2 dogs) and our dear friends. I do this out of unconditional love and because I benefit from having him in my life. Again, much like those hundreds of individuals that dedicate volunteer time to strangers. I’m not alone .. there is a whole volunteer spousal/parent/family army.

  122. KelaineThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:22pm PDT

    I have served on several arts organization’s boards over the years and am currently serving on one. Volunteering with such amazing people is a truly rewarding experience. I would never have met many of these people if I had stayed at home and not given my time. I feel so strongly about volunteering that I encourage all my students to do the same.

  123. Tanya FishThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:32pm PDT

    In the summer of 2008 I travelled to South Africa to volunteer at a wildlife rehabilitation centre. I was only 20 and this was my first time travelling internationally and even being on plane by myself. Coming from an affluent city like Vancouver, It was an incredibly eye-opening experience to see first-hand the poverty and hardship in the developing world. Coming from Canada where animal rescue and adoption is strongly supported and being an animal lover myself, I couldn’t imagine a place where this wasn’t the case. This is what I found so inspiring about my volunteer experience. Despite the fact that many people did not support the work being done at the centre, and that animal rescue is not important, the employees and volunteers were so passionate about their work and committed to their cause.

    There was one case in particular at the centre that has stuck in my mind. A baby monkey was rescued from a group of kids that were beating her with sticks. This tiny creature lost her eye from the beating but did managed to survive. Despite the horrible treatment she received from humans, she was always the first one to run up the side of cage to greet you as you walked by. This really taught me a lot about forgiveness and is something I will always remember.

    I look forward to returning to Africa soon and taking part in more volunteer opportunities.

  124. Stephen ZopfThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 8:56pm PDT

    I love volunteering, and I think it is the feeling of giving back to the community and being apart of the community that I love. My favorites: I have volunteered for Run up for Downs, and I fundraised for a school playground build, and helped build and setup the playground with over 50 Starbucks partners. The school was under funded and the playground was in such repair. Inner city schools need so much support and it was such a rewarding event!!!!

  125. Meghan WThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:06pm PDT

    One of my most memorable volunteering experiences was when I was a Candy Striper. I wore the red and white striped uniform for four years and got to work in many different areas. My favourite was meeting with the elderly in the ECU. I loved listening to their stories, even if they were a little out of order or I had to hear the same one more than once. I would paint lady’s finger nails and play crib with the men (they would always say they let me win).

  126. MicheleThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:13pm PDT

    I have volunteered in two different areas: teaching ESL to adult newcomers to Canada, and in arts and heritage (including with school children) in the local community. These two activities have been immensely rewarding and, I think, highlight the strengths of our country. We remember the past and where we have come from, and encourage the youth to recognize local heritage. At the same time “heritage” is thought of now in a far more diverse way than it was in the past. We recognize that many groups have contributed towards building our distinctive communities. As we incorporate newcomers to the Lower Mainland, and are able to share Canadian culture and the English language with them, our future as a welcoming, diverse and unique place is assured.

  127. lisa cThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:15pm PDT

    I have the privledge of volunteering at my son’s school. It means that I get to spend time with him and see him in his element. The best part though is the look in his eyes when I tell him I am going to be there – it’s magic.

  128. kelseyThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:15pm PDT

    i volunteered for a kids camp and it felt good because i also got the experience to help with a special needs child. I’m happy there are camps out there that are highly subsidized and have volunteers to give children the opportunity to interact with each other and participate in activities they may not be able to do otherwise.

  129. AC07-NWThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:19pm PDT

    Physically and mentally, volunteer work is an excellent method of making positive gains for yourself. You become part of something and it leaves a lasting impact on those involved. One of the volunteer positions I did was with Covenant House Vancouver. This company provides love and hope to Vancouver’s street youth. Not only meeting with different people from all walks of life while volunteering, we helped someone else, we learn new things, and sooner than we think, it is a great way to get work experience.
    Martin Luther King, Jr. says: “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.”
    This best explains the importance of volunteering.

  130. KristyThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:30pm PDT

    One of my favorite volunteer experiences was volunteering with the Wildlife Rescue Association. The WRA is a large rehabilitation and education centre in burnaby. I learned so much and me many fantastic peoples in the 2 years I spent volunteering there. My time ther also made realize that I didn’t want to do anything else BU work with animal. So I went back to school to become n Animal Health Technologist. I plan to us my skills to join one of the veterinary groups that visits isolated communities to provide frEe spats, neuters and treatments to pets in need.

  131. RhondaThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 9:31pm PDT

    Our church does an event for low-income and homeless families; we serve them breakfast and lunch(all leftovers go to the guests) they are given free clothing, haircuts. access to a dentist, public health nurse. gov’t workers, drug/alcohol counselors. Last time we feed/served 400 people. I love being able to help those that are so unfortunate.

  132. LISA GThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 10:12pm PDT

    I have spent the better part of my 44 years volunteering. These experiences have shaped my life and introduced me to life-long friends. Currently, I sit on my son’s preschool Executive and was a volunteer ski patroller for 12 years, where I met and worked alongside my future husband! It all started though, when I had the opportunity to attend a youth leadership camp when I was 15. My experience at that camp molded who I am today. I was once a chubby, self-conscious teenager who just didn’t fit in. By the time I left that camp, I was full of self-confidence and the will to make the world a better place! I was hopeful to be accepted back as junior staff, so I could help other young people reach their full potential too! My volunteering journey began the day I returned to camp as a ‘staffer’. It didn’t matter to me that it was a non-paying position. It just mattered to me that I could help others experience the same profound ‘change’ in themselves, while making some lifelong friendships. I worked for many years as camp staff, watching many a young person find for possibly the first time in their lives…who they really are and who they have the potential to become! Empowering youth is the focus of the camp and it is truly amazing to see who these young people have become and what impact they have had on their community over the years. They are doctors, lawyers, care workers, bus drivers, politicians, gardeners, teachers, parents, etc, etc. Active community members who themselves, find time to ‘give back’ to their community in many ways. The camp is still going strong 33 years in, run largely by volunteers. This is my 15th year sitting on the Board of Directors of The Y.E.S. (The Youth Excellence Society) and I look forward to the day when my 4 year old will attend this wonderful camp! At that moment, he will understand why Mommy’s meetings are so very important right now.

  133. HelenThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 10:36pm PDT

    I have gone to ghettos in Atlanta and to Havana and I have been deeply impacted by the strength of the human spirit. Resilience, creativity and appreciation are common aspects of culture when who you are is more valuable than what you own.

    I continue to hear the same with every volunteer that has gone out and interacted with people outside their comfort zone. We truly need to seize the opportunities to go… so that people can bring it back to our city and culture.

    My heart is to go back to South America or to Africa.

  134. Sylvia FThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 11:25pm PDT

    I’d like to recognize all volunteers who assist pallative patients and in particular those at the Red Cross. Your help means so much to the families of and the people themselves who are nearing the end of their lives. Especially those who have little or no family. My father was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and over the next two years until he passed away he would slowly deteriorate and become less independent and in greater danger of injury. I spent all of my time out of work thinking of his every need, making him comfortable and being one of the only sources of social contact he had. This was one of the most difficult 2 years of my life. I cannot express how volunteers made my life and his life easier. I was in contact with the Red Cross for advice and equipment that was needed as my father progressively got worse. I was under huge emotional stress and trying to help figure out how to make my dad independent and safe when I wasn’t there with him. When someone can’t walk and is given a walker, they are given some of their independence back, or if they tire while walking to the kitchen they can simply sit on the walker rather than collapse to the floor. When someone can’t walk, a wheelchair gives them freedom to leave their home and allows easier mobility, nothing is more difficult than holding up a person who weights 180lbs who is unstable on their feet. So many things like bed rails, bath boards, toilet covers with hand supports, and portable toilets are so important to give dignity to the elderly, a safe living environment and sense of security. All of these things allow people to live at home, where many want to be when are ill and they die. After my father passed I did not hesitate to donate any items that I had purchased that would assist someone else in need. Seeing someone I loved deteriorate took a huge emotional toll on me, and I want to let the volunteers of the Red Cross know how important their services were when I was barely able to hold on myself. There are so many volunteers that helped along the way, the Red Cross in particular, the volunteers at Burnaby Hospital, St Pauls hospital, Burnaby Pallative Hospice and so many others.Thank you.

  135. Adam DThursday, September 15th, 2011 — 11:40pm PDT

    Volunteering is something I try to do often but the time that sticks out the most was with Global Agents for Change. I was part of a team of around 12 people that biked 3000km from Vancouver to the Mexican border in San Diego to raise funds for microcredit lending. We raised around $78,000 (if I remember correctly) that year on that one ride (there was one in Europe as well) and met a lot of great people along the way.

    It was a chance to give some of my time, effort, funds, and energy to help promote and support a cause that helps other people with their financial struggles in the ‘developing world’.

    A great honour, and great memories.

  136. Kelly WhiteFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 8:56am PDT

    Hi Rebecca!

    I wanted to tell you a little bit about my volunteer experience. I grew up in Richmond and actively volunteered there for many years. I was first introduced to it through my Student Council and from there I expanded my opportunities. Other the past 7 years I have been volunteering for many different organizations including the White Ribbon Campaign and an abuse prevention program through CHIMO. I have volunteer with the Steveston Community Centre with a Program called Let’s Play, which provides disabled children a chances to come and play sports with other children in a safe environment. I have also done a serious of workshops at elementary schools aiding in the transition to high school.

    In the most recent years I have volunteered with Juvenile Diabetes Reasearch Foundation (JDRF), the Heart & Stroke Foundation and a women’s shelter.

    I truly believe that volunteering is the best way to give back to society. As a full time university student I do not have much money to spread around so in lieu of a donation I prefer to give my time. This not only benefits the organization but I believe it benefits me to a greater extent. The lessons that I have learned by talking to individuals and hearing their stories are priceless. And on the selfish side, I feel good when I volunteer as I know I am helping others.

    I would really like to win this tickets as it was my parent’s 25 wedding anniversary this summer and as a student who is working to keep herself out of debt I was unable to give them a sufficient gift. If I won these, I would give them to my parents so they could go on a real vacation.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.

  137. KatieFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 9:15am PDT

    I’ve done a lot of volunteering at my local community centre over the past 4-5 years and, for a while, it was like my second home, I spent all my free time there. It meant so much to me to be able to impact other peoples’ lives in positive ways, and I made some great friends along the way that I will be friends with for the rest of my life.

  138. SueFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 9:45am PDT

    I work at The Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre ,I see volunteering at it’s finest . It’s the women who have little or nothing , who give of themselves everyday . Not just helping me in the kitchen but nurturing and supporting each other at ever opportunity. Women of all ages , helping each other to survive . It’s uplifting , grounding , humbling and tragic all at the same time . They enrich my life.

  139. HeatherFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 9:52am PDT

    I work for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. in Vancouver and am constantly surrounded by volunteers. While one does not stand out more that another, I am always amazed by the people on the dementia journey who are willing to speak out about their experiences and raise awareness for the disease and the effects it has on everyone it touches. The fact that people are dealing with a fatal disease and still willing to take the time to speak to others about details about their lives is such a gift that they give to us. Without volunteers, we could not do the work that we do and we value their contributions so very much!

  140. JoanneFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 10:14am PDT

    I’ve been attending the Vancouver Fringe Festival these past few days. This great event of Arts and Culture in our city is run by many many awesome volunteers. They’ve been doing a great job assisting the artists and attendees. Without them this festival would not exist!
    So much funding has been cut from Arts and Culture in Canada (including the Fringe which due to rule changes is no longer eligible for Gaming Grant funding – Boo). Without the many eager volunteers we would lose this. Thank you all for putting your time in and enriching our cultural lives.

  141. HenryFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 10:30am PDT

    I’ve been a member of Lions International since 2000, first as a Leo, and now as a Lion. We’ve run so many events and provided so much service over the years, ranging from garage sales benefiting the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), to creating and personally delivering Christmas hampers for underprivileged families identified by CNIB, to helping serve lunch at the St. Vincent’s Langara Care Home. I know I’m lucky to have the resources and support that I have, and volunteering allows me to pass it onto those who aren’t as fortunate. There’s almost no feeling that compares to seeing the smile on a child’s face because you’ve made his/her Christmas the best one ever because he got a bunch of new toys for Christmas, or a warm cooked meal. Or hearing about how excited the seniors for our visits because of the food and companionship that we bring A little cheesy, but that’s how it really is. As my Dad always told me, we should always try to leave the world a better place than when we first came into it. And that’s just what I’m trying to do.

  142. Amanda McNallyFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 10:48am PDT

    When I was 16 I lost my mother to breast cancer. I felt so powerless and didn’t know what to do. A few years later I began running in the CBCF CIBC Run for the Cure and then became a team captain to help raise more money. After my son was born, I felt the same powerless feeling again as I wanted to do more to ensure my children never know what it is like to lose me to breast cancer. I became the Volunteer Run Director for the Run for three years. It was life changing for me. Not everyone gets to say that the things they do in life make a difference in the lives of others but I can now say that. I was able to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.

  143. julianneFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 10:49am PDT

    I recently volunteered at a paralympic games event in manchester, england. I simply was helping the students from visiting schools with come and try activities , but to see all the paralympic athletes was really inspirational! Working at that event has helped me to decide what I’m going to do with my life.

  144. AliciaFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 11:09am PDT

    I have 2 friends that volunteer for Big Brothers and they are constantly talking about how rewarding it is. They have been paired with the perfect Little Buddy and continue to see a real difference in how their positive influence affects the child’s life. I have decided to follow in their footsteps and am volunteering for the Big Brothers In-School Mentorship Program this year. I should be paired with my Little Buddy next week and I can’t wait to meet them!

  145. VanessaFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 11:24am PDT

    I volunteer with Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), which has been an incredibly rewarding experience. To know that the work I do not only impacts women living our community, but provides much need public awareness about violence agaisnt women is so fulfilling, and knowing that I’m part of a social change movement is incredible.

  146. LDFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 11:52am PDT

    I volunteered for the first time in university. I would help support and play with children while they were waiting for their appointments at the children’s oncology clinic. I found it extremely rewarding to see the strength & resilience in these children and their sibling. I now work as a nurse with children with cancer. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else in the world.

  147. sophiaFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 12:01pm PDT

    I could go on about my own experiences, but I think I choose to talk about something that I had the inability to be a part of. In June 2011, when the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Final, a large handful of ignorant, bored individuals intentionally caused chaos in the downtown core, and implemented destructive riots that tore down our city in mere hours. Waking up in the middle of Canada to see the headlines was the most devastating, mainly because I wanted to be there to help fix it.
    But it turns out I didn’t need to be. Communities gathered together: locals, businesses, corporations and even travelers got together and cleaned up the city of Vancouver. Writing words of all forms all over the broken boarded up businesses surrounding the center of downtown. Words that became poetry, and fuel to make right what was done wrong.
    What a remarkable movement to see from the outside. One of the largest cities in Canada, and communities from within that city getting together simply to right the wrongs that had been done to our home.
    That is nothing more and nothing less than volunteering at its very core.

  148. ElizaFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 12:05pm PDT

    One of my favourite experiences was volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. I had never done any constuction type work before and so it was an entirely new experience for me. It was hard work but very gratifying knowing that my sweat was going into the creation of an affordable home for a family in need.

  149. wynFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 12:53pm PDT

    Last year, I started volunteering at an assisted living home in east Vancouver with a friend who is making a career change and volunteering there works with her new objective. I responded to the call for volunteers initially because it asked for and allowed me to practice my Chinese language skills on a weekly basis but I wouldn’t turn down residents who speak English. I would visit and chat, play piano or cards, and regularly help one resident with her computer issues. Some residents do not have family who can visit regularly and I feel particularly for them since I don’t live close to my parents who some time in the future will be in one of these homes. I like to think that if I can’t be close to my parents, they will also have volunteers and social diversion.

  150. MarcFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 12:58pm PDT

    At a young age, my mother taught me the value of personal service to better the lives of others, and I haven’t forgotten that.

    In a soup kitchen, the recipients taught me what struggle and hardship felt like. Most people brought with them a large bag of shame and humility. I learned that removing their shame within a conversation empowered them, like taking a noose off of their necks, letting them breathe.

    On Katimavik, in an elementary school in Ontario as a teacher’s aide, disabled children taught me how to remove ‘disabled’ from my dictionary and replace it with ‘enabled.’ Each one of them deserves to experience their lives to their fullest potential.

    In Rotaract, at university, Rotarians and Rotaractors from around the world showed me the power of the few to effect real change. Google “Polio Plus.”

    For the United Way, my office is going to raise over $1m in this year’s campaign. The UW has sent some incredible speakers with mind-blowing stories of hardship and triumph, leaving two dry eyes in the room – their own.

    That is why I will always serve others. My 100 hour Timeraiser pledge was completed in 10 weeks. I will not stop.

  151. Alex CameronFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 1:15pm PDT

    Last couple times I volunteered was for the Fruit Tree Project in Richmond http://www.richmondfruittree.com/

    Got to get my hands dirty with some gardening, planted garlic, weeded, replowed land. It was great and all for a sustainable food kitchen!

  152. Mica KnibbsFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 1:20pm PDT

    I have been a volunteer Big Brother for 4 years now. I have been very happy to be a part of my Little’s life since before he was 12 to now when he is almost getting his driver’s license! Crazy watching and helping him navigate his teen years, coaching his soccer team, helping with school projects, and just hanging out together.

    I would highly recommend to anyone that if you can afford to give a little of your time to somebody, do it! That often means so much more than anything else to those who simply need somebody to talk to and look up to.

  153. Diana RainerFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 1:31pm PDT

    I used to volunteer with the Winnipeg Humane Society, coordinating volunteers for demonstrations and info booths to petition against sow stalls. It was extremely rewarding to be able to talk to all sides on an issue, and learn more about animal husbandry and farming. I would love to volunteer some more!

  154. Andrew evansFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 1:45pm PDT

    From 2001-2009 I volunteered with the Salvation Army working with at-risk youth. This included coaching rugby, helping with homework and simply spending time with the youth. Most of our group was from low income families without fathers. After a bunch of years, most of th have graduated highschool and are working. To see how well they are doing while making good decisions is a huge blessing to me. Commit and volunteer!

  155. JessicaFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 2:22pm PDT

    I’ve been actively involved in Easter Seals for the past 9 years, where I started a relay team to raise money for the summer camping program. It was just a group of friends (and friends of friends) that we got together to give something back to our community – and of course had a lot of fun doing it. Over the 9 years, our team has raised over $275,000 – it’s amazing what happens when people come together for a common goal. It’s a win-win when people feel great about giving back and worthwhile causes get support. That’s why I think the concept of the Timeraiser event is really great – as it brings the idea of volunteering to an audience who perhaps hadn’t previously considered it as something they would like to do (which was the case with a lot of people who ended up on my team, and who now volunteer regularly).

  156. JenFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 2:23pm PDT

    When I was 11, I decided it was time to start volunteering. I LOVED my grandparents (still do, but they’re deceased) and I loved spending time with them, so I decided I would do something with seniors but I didn’t know what to do or how to go about doing it. I decided that, after seeing my grandparents sometimes struggle, I would volunteer to help seniors clean their houses/apartments. I put up a sign (that my Mom helped me make) in a few local seniors apartment buildings (not the kind where you get residential care) and the seniors’ centre.
    I had no idea what I was getting into.

    It ended up being so much more than cleaning their apartments. I ended up chatting with these folks, while they sat in their kitchens and I rearranged their cupboards. I played card games with them on my ‘break’ from cleaning. I spent time with people who otherwise didn’t have people visiting them.
    It was so rewarding and I knew I was enriching their lives. I would go back weekly, even if they didn’t have much for me to do, because I knew the time spent with them meant more to them than any scrubbing I could have been doing.

    I made some significant relationships. One woman, whose daughter was a single mom and barely had time to help her mother, adopted me as a little pseudo-granddaughter. She even passed down clothing to me as a thank you (and I got some awesome retro skirts as a result!).

    It’s a lesson I’ve passed on to my daughter – that, for some people, time sometimes means more than anything tangible.

  157. KelliFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 2:27pm PDT

    The experience I had watching volunteers in action in the Philippines is what compelled me to volunteer here in Vancouver.
    I watched volunteers in action as they funded and assembled a water purification project to give clean water to full communities in the Philippines. This changed lives that had been on hold from the diarrhea and reoccurring illnesses. But now those families can go back to work and school and continue to provide food and shelter without worry of getting sick again.
    It was volunteer physicians that spent days providing surgeries to individuals who couldn’t otherwise afford it. They did 300 surgeries in 2 days and it was managed by volunteers.
    Though the volunteer experiences I’ve had locally differ greatly from those I saw in the Philippines, teaching children sports, helping immigrants settle into their Canadian lives, and ensuring charity runs go smoothly also have an impact on the quality of our lives. And that’s why I respect volunteers and keep trying to do my part!

  158. AndrewFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 2:50pm PDT

    I’ve done various volunteering before, but what’s most memorable for me was volunteering for the Vancouver Olympics 2010. I was 19 at the time and was really thrilled to have an opportunity to be a part of the Olympics right here in my own city. I was part of the transport team up at Whistler. We had to get up early in the mornings for our meet-ups to go to Whistler and had to stand for most of the time during my shifts. But it was well worth it, seeing how everyone was so hard at work and the level of organization and commitment that was put into it. I really felt the team spirit and was proud of all the volunteers, staff, and leaders that had made the Vancouver Olympics 2010 such a success. Volunteers were also able to attend the opening ceremony rehearsals…this was special for me because watching it live was way more fascinating than seeing it from my small cubical TV screen. Being a student, I would not have been able to afford the tickets to see the actual opening ceremony, so I’m glad that VANOC has arranged this special attendance to their loyal volunteers.

  159. BC Guide Dog ServicesFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 3:09pm PDT

    We are making this submission on behalf of our “Puppy Raiser” volunteers, who literally give 24/7 of their time to us. We provide guide dogs for visually-impaired people in BC and Alberta (free of charge), and because we prefer not to use kennels, we rely on the support of our volunteers. Puppy Raisers welcome a 7-week-old puppy into their home and take care of them until they are about 16 months old and ready for Advanced Training. Our volunteers bring their puppy wherever they go (malls, restaurants, obedience class etc.) so that the puppy is exposed to different environments and ready for their future as a guide dog. At any given time, we have up to 40 puppies living with volunteers – 40 volunteers x 24hours a day x 365 days=350,400 hours of volunteer time per year! Our Puppy Raisers play such a large role in helping us provide guide dogs to people who need them. If we were to receive these 2 Westjet tickets, we would give them to one of our volunteers. If we don’t win, then at least we’ve had the chance to thank them publicly here! Thank you, thank you, thank you! (Thanks also to Westjet – a generous supporter of our organization).

  160. donFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 3:32pm PDT

    I had the opportunity to travel to Brazil to help build a home for children who had been brought in off the street. We spent two weeks working on the roof and playing with the kids and it was an amazing experience. There is power in giving yourself away.

  161. Sophia IliopolusFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 4:00pm PDT

    I could go on about my own experiences, but I think I choose to talk
    about something that I had the inability to be a part of. In June
    2011, when the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup Final, a large
    handful of ignorant, bored individuals intentionally caused chaos in
    the downtown core, and implemented destructive riots that tore down
    our city in mere hours. Waking up in the middle of Canada to see the
    headlines was the most devastating, mainly because I wanted to be
    there to help fix it.
    But it turns out I didn’t need to be. Communities gathered together:
    locals, businesses, corporations and even travelers got together and
    cleaned up the city of Vancouver. Writing words of all forms all over
    the broken boarded up businesses surrounding the center of downtown.
    Words that became poetry, and fuel to make right what was done wrong.
    What a remarkable movement to see from the outside. One of the largest
    cities in Canada, and communities from within that city getting
    together simply to right the wrongs that had been done to our home.
    That is nothing more and nothing less than volunteering at its very core.

  162. Lindsay WhiteFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 4:22pm PDT

    This summer my bipolar partner had a manic episode and was hospitalized for 11 days. Many of the times I went to visit her during visiting hours, she was too medicated to get up and interact with me in the visiting room. I always brought my guitar (we’re both musicians), and one day another patient saw me sitting in the corner and asked me to play. I was really shy, but I played a few songs. More patients kept coming up and asking if I knew such and such song, and I’d do my best to sing them on the fly. It made me feel good to know that I was providing music – something everyone deserves. I would go home every night and start brushing up on old songs so I would feel more confident in the following days. It was awesome to bring joy to those patients, but they brought me so much joy as well. Even thought I have a full time job and my partners is finally out of the hospital, I am continuing to find ways to use my music for good causes. (like playing charity events, etc.) I am also trying to find ways to get involved with singing at assisted living centers in my area.

  163. ChrisFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 5:05pm PDT

    I have learned from my Daddy! I have had the opportunity of seeing the power of volunteering in action through my Dad. He retired early after a massive heart attack at the age of 61 (he is now 82). (A healthy lifestyle, eating well, and maintaining a healthy weight don’t always protect you!)
    He soon joined a Heart Healthy YMCA exercise and lifestyle program in New Westminster which he is still a part of. Then he started volunteering for the Burnaby RCMP and has been a volunteer for what must be 20 years now?! He has received several accolades and awards during his time there from both the RCMP and the City of Burnaby and the experience has really fulfilled his life in many ways. His volunteering is still going strong and he loves doing it. He was also a volunteer driver for the Canadian Cancer Society “Cancer Car” Program for several years. We would love to be able to send my Dad on a vacation to thank him for his stellar volunteering record (volunteering is like a full-time job for him… a job he loves).

  164. MariaFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 7:57pm PDT

    my entire family has participated in an event called “giving Christmas to the homeless,” which consisted of a group of people who decided to get together and give away food and clothing (many blankets and socks!) to people in the downtown Eastside close to Christmas. the first year that we participated, I and my three daughters baked 360 gingerbread cookies – mixing, rolling and baking dozens and dozens (and dozens!) of cookies and then decorating them.

    when we got downtown, the energy in the little apartment was amazing – dozens(!) of people, many of who didn’t know each other, worked together in happy chaos for a single cause. when we hit the streets, i was astonished at the response of the people we came across. not a single person asked for money. (many asked for socks.)instead, we heard many many thank yous and several even said “God bless you.” it was such an experience for our little girls and I am thankful that they could see firsthand that homeless people are just like us, with some very different circumstances. we all cherish those memories. thanks for setting up this contest and giving me the opportunity to recall something so wonderful.

  165. FMCFriday, September 16th, 2011 — 10:01pm PDT

    I have volunteered for many places, but the one that stayed with me the most was organizing the Operation Christmas Child at the university I attended. Operation Christmas Child is done through Samaritan’s Purse Organization who delivers shoeboxes filled with gift to children in the third world countries. Our role was to bring awareness of the program at the university, inspire people to donate and collect the boxes. It was inspiring to see so many students, professors and staff take time to fill these boxes with gifts and drop them off for these children. While preparing these shoeboxes might not have taken up a lot of their time, the joy they were bringing to these kids was enormous. A girl in our group was a recipient of one of the boxes when she was a child. She talked about living in difficult conditions and appreciating little things in life. The shoebox made her feel like someone cared. It was such an inspiring environment to be in and it made me cherish my life. I know that these boxes brought many smiles and hopefully hope to children around the world who live in some difficult and dangerous conditions every day of their life.

  166. BonsSaturday, September 17th, 2011 — 12:51am PDT

    I started volunteering since high school…in school events, the library, hospital, senior home, and more. Each volunteer job is unique in its own way, and have given me the chance to help other people, to contribute back to the society, and to expand my horizon and learn new things. It warms my heart to see that what I do with my spare time can have such a meaningful impact for others. It gives me motivation to continue in what I do. I hope that I can keep on volunteering until I am old and can no longer continue with it. I hope that one day I can travel around the world and volunteer abroad. Having been educated in Canada, I have been taught at a young age the value of volunteering. I know that not all cultures believe in the concept of volunteering and may not see its value. I hope that I can change this and help people from different cultures/background see the value in volunteering. I would likee to become a “volunteer” ambassador. This will be a dream come true!

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