Volunteering is Terrific
This week we are featuring a guest blog from Rachel Wong. Rachel is a lifelong volunteer within Calgary’s Chinese community. She started volunteering when at 9 years old and have been continuously involved with the community since then!
Community is such an integral part of society. There is nothing more heartwarming than to see people coming together to help others, whether it be helping to provide basic necessities, or rallying together to promote a good cause, volunteering is a terrific way to help connect with and uplift others.
So when 2020 rolled around, and the world went into lockdown, community was needed more than ever. As I moved back home from university at the end of the school year, 3 veteran Chinatown community members contacted me to ask if I would be interested in helping them spearhead a social media campaign that would encourage Calgarians to support their local businesses. It was called #AddOilYYC. We had a total of 5 youths on our team, with me as team lead, plus the 3 veteran community members as our mentors that guided us through the process. We hosted daily giveaways on Instagram and Facebook where the prizes were gift certificates to local restaurants. The giveaways gained attention pretty quickly, and soon we cumulated over 900 followers on our Instagram page, and over 200 likes on Facebook. Calgarians entered not only for a chance at winning a gift certificate but also to share their love for the businesses that enrich our communities.
Alongside the very successful daily giveaways, we would also go out into the community and interview local businesses and publish them on our website. This was by far my favourite part of the campaign. I was quite familiar with many of the establishments we interviewed, but getting to interview and learn more about their stories made me appreciate all the hard work they had put into building up their businesses. Being able to write up their stories in a way that was able to capture their spirit and love for what they do was truly a special experience for me. I hope that I’ll be able to do more of it in the future!
#AddOilYYC really helped me connect further with the community that I had been volunteering with for so long. I also got to connect with new people who were eager to support their fellow community members. This experience is still very special to me because it allowed me to look behind the scenes of some of these businesses and see what makes Calgary such a vibrant and colourful place that I’m proud to call home.