Latest News | Guest Blog

Finding A Passion

Published: Sep 21, 2023 @ 1:26 PM

We are pleased to welcome guest blog writer Kaurveri. Kauveri Buddepu is an Internationally trained dentist from Visakhapatnam, South India in the process of becoming a licensed dentist in Canada. He found his love for writing in middle school in Visakhapatnam, India and fully realized his passion for writing through volunteering after I arrived in Canada. 

It was the month of November and I had been in Canada for a few months now. As a newcomer to Calgary, I was curious to engage with the community of Calgary through Volunteering. I stumbled upon one of the student boards at Bow Valley College about a volunteering opportunity for Remembrance Day to write letters to the Veterans in Canada. I was delighted to be accepted to the event at Murdoch Manor, a retirement home in Calgary. 

What made me feel so special about this volunteering activity? I found my love for writing for the first time in Canada. I was able to connect with a few veterans whom I never met. As a recent immigrant, I was able to express my thoughts and gratitude for their contributions to the country. All this magic happened through a simple act of writing letters! Isn’t that beautiful? 

Inter-generational Interaction: Writing letters with the seniors to the Veterans in Canada enabled me to bridge the gap between the veteran community and the senior community at the retirement home through the beauty of words. Words have the power to express one’s emotions and feelings. Not to mention, they have the power to heal! 

Volunteering to build communities: The thoughts in my little brain flow through the ink of my beautiful blue Gel pen to gracefully reach the reader’s mind. We all are interconnected in this Universe. Readers may or may not agree with what they just read. However, I relate to the reader right now through the beauty of words in this unique moment. Thank you for allowing me to connect, reflect and share my perspectives on writing. We are together in this moment right now. Is that how you feel as well? 

The beauty of writing through Volunteering: It is not about perfection. It is about having the heart and mind to express one’s feelings and to remind the receiver (the reader) that there’s someone out there thinking of them (the veteran through the letters and the reader reading this blog post right now). 

Global Citizen and Volunteering: The inspiration and passion to volunteer through writing have now enabled me to write letters to children in Uganda through a Pen Pal Project. Isn’t that fascinating? 

In this digital era, I encourage everyone to write letters and share their thoughts with their loved ones. 

I am excited to meet you in the world of writing! 


Adventures In Volunteering Episode 1

Published: Aug 31, 2023 @ 8:49 AM

By Jeff D’Silva

In the heart of Inglewood, Calgary, nestled among the vibrant streets, there existed a hidden gem known as the Loose Moose Theatre Company in the old Garry Theatre space. It was a haven for creative souls, weirdos, outcasts, the class clowns and the drama nerds. A place where laughter echoed and the imagination ran wild. For Jeff, the decision to become a volunteer there would forever alter the course of his life.

With a heart brimming with curiosity and a sprinkle of nervous excitement, Jeff stepped through the theatre's doors for the first time. The air was thick with an aura of artistic energy and hot buttered popcorn, and the walls seemed to whisper tales of countless performances from comedy heroes who had since moved on to the big lights of Toronto, Ontario, but whose humble roots started at this very theatre. Jeff was welcomed by the warm smiles of fellow volunteers and staff, each radiating a passion for the magic that unfolded on their stage. Some of the smiling faces from that first day would go on to become lifelong friends.

Jeff’s journey began with the simplest of tasks— mixing Lime Rickey (a mysterious green juice concoction derived from three healthy ingredients sugar, water and green), and “snogging” which he would soon learn is “Mooser speak” for set decoration during a show. Every moment was a chance to learn, to soak in the knowledge of the more tenured improvisers who surrounded him. Jeff found himself spellbound by the camaraderie and the unyielding commitment to storytelling. He marveled at the senior improvisers who effortlessly slipped into characters, transforming seemingly the most innocuous incident or suggestion into a completely enthralling scene in a matter of seconds.

As weeks turned into months, Jeff's dedication grew stronger. He graduated from the role of an eager observer to that of a vital cog in the theatre's intricate machinery. He helped build sets, paint backdrops, and even tried his hand at making masks. The process was exhilarating—a symphony of creativity and collaboration that produced breathtaking results.

One fateful day, while chatting with a senior improviser, Jeff's curiosity was piqued by tales of improvisational performances. The improviser spoke of not preparing, being obvious, and diving into the unknown with only wit and instinct as your guides. Jeff’s heart raced and his mind lit up like the top of the Calgary Tower on a Flames’ game night. He decided to venture beyond his comfort zone and embrace the exhilarating challenge of improv.

Under the guidance of the theatre's mentors, Jeff stepped onto the stage for his first improv performance. The spotlight illuminated his face, casting aside any remnants of doubt. He locked eyes with his fellow performers, a silent agreement passing between them—they were in this together. The game was simple, one improviser makes a suggestion and the others exclaim “Yes Let’s!” and act out the suggestion. The goal is learn to accept offers from your team, be open to failing, and have the most fun possible. The audience's laughter became an irresistible well of energy, and Jeff’s inhibitions, the shyness of being the awkward, skinny brown kid at his high school melted away like winter’s snowfall after the first chinook of the season.

With every scene, he discovered a new facet of himself. The stage became a canvas for his imagination, where he could be a detective solving absurd crimes one moment and a time-traveling adventurer the next. Each performance was a tapestry woven with laughter, vulnerability, and the symbiotic connection between improvisers and the audience.

As seasons changed and years flowed by, Jeff’s journey continued to flourish. He found himself not only a volunteer but an integral part of the Loose Moose family. As a first generation Canadian, Jeff had never really had a professional network, so his Moose family would serve as his lifelong collaborators, co-conspirators and sources of constant inspiration. His dedication was rewarded with friendships that felt like kindred spirits, mentors who nurtured his talents, and memories, tall tales from backstage, failures, victories, and lessons learned that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.

Looking back, Jeff realized that his decision to volunteer at the Loose Moose Theatre Company was a pivotal one. It had ignited a passion he hadn't known existed and led him down a path of artistic exploration and personal growth. Through the ups and downs, the laughter and the challenges, he had discovered a place where his human spirit could truly be set free, unburdened by his insecurities and the trivial annoyances of everyday life.

And so, the curtains fell on the story of a volunteer named Jeff, whose journey with the Loose Moose Theatre Company was a testament to the transformative power of embracing the unknown, learning to embrace failure as a tool for development, nurturing one's passions, and finding a second home in the most unexpected of places. Also, he learned how to make Lime Rickey, a healthy beverage that he uses to nourish his children to this day.



Volunteering In Panama

Published: Aug 24, 2023 @ 10:32 AM

I recently had the opportunity to chat with a friend about volunteering in Panama.

As an expat living in Panama, she wanted to volunteer in an area she was passionate about. After landing at Ronald McDonald House, she started volunteering without speaking much Spanish. In recent articles, I've talked about the value of volunteering, not just for the community, but for the volunteer. As Dr. Wayne Dyer put it, “The more we give away, the more is given to us.” For Caleigh, this rang true. Her outlook and positive experience encouraged me, and I thought it would be great to share her journey with our followers here at Volunteer Connector.

N: How did you go about finding a place to volunteer?

C: I wanted to do something in health care, but that's one of the protected industries in Panama. So, getting into health care was quite tricky. There were many barriers. So naturally, the second thing was to volunteer in that same space. That's how I got connected to someone at the Ronald McDonald House.

N: Can you talk a little about what it was like to volunteer in a place where you don’t speak the language?

C: I was super nervous about going there. Many of the families coming there are from the country's interior, so they don't speak English or, if they do, it’s very limited—and my Spanish isn't very good either. So, I was nervous about how I would connect with these people. How am I going to do anything with them? That was intimidating to me. But I quickly realized that people just want to be understood and heard. The basic needs of people are the same, whether you can communicate with them or not. My experience is that most people are friendly and will try to connect with you even if you don't speak the same language. Smiles are universal.

N: Did you find volunteering helpful in your journey to learn Spanish?

C: Yes. In my journey to learn Spanish, I find you just have to figure it out. I would practice a lot with my Spanish teacher. If I was bringing an activity, game, or puzzle, I would practice explaining it with my Spanish teacher before going. The more I started coming to the Ronald McDonald House, the more people interacted with me and made an effort to speak slowly and more simply. It was very endearing. Through volunteering, I could help them in a way, and then it was like they were returning the favor by speaking slowly or practicing with me. It felt like a give-and-take relationship. It was symbiotic. That definitely helps with the Spanish.

N: If you could give advice to someone looking to volunteer in a country or a place where there might be barriers such as culture or language, what would you say to push them to do it?

C: Don't let the barriers overwhelm or stop you because, at the end of the day, all humans in their basic needs are the same. And across different cultures and different languages, you'll find that we're more alike than we are different.

Honestly, there's little for me to add. Be encouraged. Whatever barrier you thought was between you and volunteering, there’s a way to overcome it. If you believe something disqualifies you from serving in a field you are passionate about, don’t let that stop you from trying. There will always be a way.



How I Discovered Myself In A New Country - Guest Blog

Published: Aug 3, 2023 @ 4:00 PM

The following is a guest blog by Tarunika Kalita. Tarunika is a fundraising manager with a not-for-profit based out of Toronto. An ardent music lover, she is a bibliophile who loves reading books on wellness and history. In her free time, she likes to use her writing skills for various volunteering opportunities.

How I Discovered Myself In A New Country

I moved to this beautiful country right at the onset of the pandemic. So, while the world was shutting down, I found myself in a state of chaos and loneliness both at the same time. The dreams of a new, happy life were replaced with the sudden feeling of despair and worthlessness. Employment opportunities were limited, so was the number of people I interacted with and forget exploring the city because every nook and corner was closed. 

In my urge to find something that would make me feel a little more like myself, I found the opportunity to be a social media volunteer for a local summer camp, helping them write content for brochures and occasionally coordinate with the parents and children through calls. This became a start to my foray into what is now my full-time career. Currently, I am a fundraising manager at a non-for-profit organization that helps children belonging to underserved communities with nutrition and wellness programs. 

So, Volunteering became my way of exploring opportunities where I could use my skills to help people. It also gave me the golden opportunity to interact with people, share stories and learn from them. Volunteering at the local Bingo halls helped me understand the lives of several people who used the game as community networking area, regularly meeting, sharing updates over a tall glass of diet coke and a hot dog. 

Recently, I volunteered as a bio writer for a local animal shelter. As an ardent dog lover, the joy of seeing the dogs getting adopted after I helped explaining how each dog had a personality of their own and what they could bring to a family that adopted them through my writing was my ultimate emotional satisfaction. It did however also come with heartbreak, anytime a dog was returned or rejected. 

Through all these various experiences, I discovered that I was committed, more motivated person with a purpose in my heart. I learnt that sometimes, there would be disappointments or situations I cannot do anything about, but the journey isn’t about giving up, it is about continuing to do what feels right.

Guest Blogger

Tarunika Kalita



Gaining New Views

Published: Jul 4, 2023 @ 3:00 PM

Guest Blog by Rayyan Hussain. a grade 10 student who enjoys volunteering. 

Volunteering is a great opportunity to learn about the perspectives of others, learn new skills, and build strong community ties. By being a volunteer who works with others on a regular basis, I’ve learned that people have diverse perspectives on issues and can bring valuable knowledge to conversations. For example, during my time working as a surveyor for my local YMCA, I was informed by an individual who has a mobility disability that the YMCA needs to be more accessible for those who have physical disabilities so they can remain active and live a healthy life. Without this interaction, many people, myself included, would not have thought about how accessibility may not be great for everyone. Alongside gaining new viewpoints on an issue, volunteering is an ancillary to learning new skills. By volunteering, I’ve gained many new skills that I continue to use for projects and assignments. For example, I learned to keep track of ballots and votes while volunteering for student vote at my school during this recent provincial election. This ability to multitask and tabulate different papers has helped me learn valuable organization skills that I continue to use today. Finally, volunteering builds strong community ties by bringing youth closer to others around them. I built strong community ties during a cleanup project at Fish Creek Park when I worked with other people my age to pull out invasive weeds from around the park. I learned about how similar I was to them and I continue to work with them on various volunteer projects to this day by maintaining communication with them. By volunteering, I’ve learned that there are people whose background shift their perspectives, learnt valuable skills that continue to help me to this day, and built a community of fellow volunteers.


Better The World By Bettering Yourself

Published: Jun 29, 2023 @ 11:44 AM

Is it possible to change the world? Some days it takes more convincing than others. Our world is a big place with a long list of needs. The task feels rather daunting. Yet, we can often quantify change through compounding small actions. If you want to change the world, challenge yourself to shrink your scope. Look to better yourself first, and by doing so, equip yourself to change the world around you. All it takes is one person to impact a community. If you want to start the journey of self-improvement, here are three intentional behaviors to engage in.

Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a great starting point to self-improvement. Research has shown that practicing gratitude can improve emotional and mental health—even going so far as to have long-lasting positive effects on brain chemistry and behavior. There are two ways to make this a regular practice in your daily life.

  • Journaling. Every day, write down a few things you’re grateful for. If you are someone who already journals, add this to your routine. Set a static number and challenge yourself to reflect on new things daily.
  • Meditation. Set aside time each day and meditate on what you are grateful for. You can also take this a step further and say them out loud. Use sticky notes or a reminder on your phone to help make this a regular practice.

As a chef by trade and someone who enjoys good food, I remind myself to be grateful every time I open the fridge. It’s a simple practice that keeps me mindful that having food to eat and access to clean drinking water is a privilege. Practicing gratitude daily can increase your positive impact on those around you by increasing empathy and compassion for those in need.

Engage in selflessness

If you genuinely desire to see a change in the world around you, shifting your focus from inward to outward is vital. A National Library of Medicine study links selfless behavior patterns with happiness. While many other factors can weigh in and findings should not be considered definitive, their conclusions about relating selflessness to distinct happiness are fascinating. While selflessness is easier said than done, you can start by applying two simple practices in your everyday life.

  • Random acts of kindness. There are opportunities to meet needs around us every day. These acts can be as simple as helping someone carry groceries, shovel the snow, or offer to babysit, housesit, or dog walk. This practice will train you to become aware of the needs in your community and city.
  • Uplift others with words. An encouraging word to a friend, romantic partner, co-worker, or stranger can be a monumentally positive boost in their day. The more we learn about verbal encouragement, the more research shows the massive positive impact it can have on our lives.

While these two practices are theoretically simple, they might be new learned behaviors. Start off easy by practicing with trusted individuals you consider a safe space and slowly gain the confidence to make them commonplace in your everyday life.

Increase generosity

The third and final behaviour for self-improvement is generosity. While directly benefiting others, this practice has a significant positive impact on those who engage in it. One study out of UC Berkeley found that generosity activates the same reward pathways as food and sex. If you desire to be more generous, you can put generosity into action in two main ways.

  • Give your money. People, communities, and organizations require money to exist. There’s no way around it. Some simple ways to engage in generosity with your money are to buy someone a coffee, donate to the food bank, or find an organization that serves in an area you are passionate about and contribute to them.
  • Give your time. Time can be equally or more valuable than money. For some without means, it can be easier to give—but sometimes, it can also be scarcer. You can be generous with your time by visiting an elderly person, participating in a neighbourhood cleanup, or finding a local organization needing volunteers.

Generosity in both areas is a significant step to making the world around you a better place. In theory, any need can be met by one of these two things. If you want to start practicing generosity, consider what you can offer, research causes you are passionate about, and decide how to best give.

Be the change

The exciting thing about gratitude, selflessness, and generosity is that these three behaviors are wildly contagious. Others will notice what you are doing and the way it is changing how you go about life. The positivity from these three practices will be noticeable, tangible, and highly effective in enacting positive change, both within yourself and the world around you.

We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change toward him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi.



Six Years Of Journey - Guest Blog

Published: Jun 5, 2023 @ 1:54 PM

We will call this a Guest Blog but the truth is this is a blog written by someone who has been more than a guest. Sally Mansour has been an active member of our board and volunteer for over 6 years. Thanks for all the support Sally and for sharing your parting thoughts with us!


It’s June 1st, 10:25am and our AGM just ended - yup, always done in an under an hour to ensure we respect people’s time! 

Everyone can relate to the minute after an AGM is over. I believe the phrase is: “ahhhhhhh.’ But this time feels different for me… 

I just wrapped up 6 years (over 3 terms) at VolunteerConnector as a board director, and I already miss the amazing people I got to work with: a small but mighty team of staff, and an equally small but epic team of board directors. 

The organization evolved dramatically over the last 6 years. It went provincial, then digital, then national. Why hasn’t VolunteerConnector gone global, you ask? Well, I don’t count that idea out… I’ve stopped trying to predict the imaginative minds of the staff. Sounds too challenging and complex to me, and to the staff, that probably sounds like fun. 

But back to what they did do…

Over the last 6 years I witnessed a true metamorphosis. VolunteerConnecter (the Volunteer Centre of Calgary, formerly known as Propellus) went from serving thousands of people regionally to hundreds of thousands of people nationally. That alone was reason enough for the organic change in the name. But there was more to the name change than that. The name change was about ‘putting the volunteer at the centre of everything we do’ - a phrase we heard, said and wrote at every meeting. 

Our roles on the board went from nice and slow, to buckle your seatbelts! It went from regularly meeting in person, to relying on human connection virtually. It went from keeping up with the rhythm and changes of the sector, to drumming our own beat and leading a parade. 

That timeline wasn’t by design. It was expedited by the needs of the sector, the downward funding trends, and the rise of digital services. It was then much more dramatically expedited by the pandemic - who knew this magical tool for digital volunteer centres would be needed immediately? They did - the staff knew.

Hit after hit, after hit, the org stood the legit tests of time because innovation was the response of the staff, and adaptability was the response of the board. (I don’t say that boastfully - we really had no choice!) And now myself and two others who have been on the board for 6-7 years, Nyla Fuller and Jordan Kiss, step away knowing the new board and staff will take the org to its greatest potential. And we will have fun watching because it truly is another remarkable ‘made in Alberta’ story.

I share this all because if anyone reading this is thinking about being on a volunteer board, I want to say: DO IT! I highly recommend it. The one piece of advice I offer when people ask me how to pick a board is: don’t look for a board that looks like you, talks like you, thinks like you, and works like you. Look for a board that welcomes you, values you, challenges you, supports you, and teaches you. If you find that board, ride it out - the good and the bad days. It will empower you to be unapologetically yourself in other areas of your life, it will remind you of your gifts and strengths, and it will always feel like rewarding work. 

That’s what I got out of being on the VolunteerConnector board. Despite having been in the charitable sector for a couple decades and having been on other boards, I learned so much about the charitable and volunteer sector, about making complex business and governance decisions, about strengthening my EQ in a virtual workplace, and about marketing products in the digital space. 

I also learned more than I ever hoped for as we underwent antri-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, training… and then learned even more when we actually implemented the knowledge we gained into our operations. 

I got to know some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever worked with. I am forever grateful for the friendships, professional connections, and unique bonds I have made along the way. They truly were a pillar of my survival these past few years and through the pandemic.

So yes, if you’re looking to find a unique way to grow, connect, contribute, build, value, learn, and even laugh, find a volunteer board role that resonates with you, apply confidently knowing that you are needed, and give it a go!

To all the staff, board members, contractors, and public committee members I worked with over the last 6 years at VC, thanks for being such epic explorers and navigators with me on this journey! 

#volunteer #board #boardofdirectors #canada #alberta #calgary #antiracism #inclusion #diversity #connection


Election Time - Prioritizing What Matters

Published: May 25, 2023 @ 12:42 PM

It's election time in Alberta. Many feelings surround this event, and not all of them are positive. For some sectors in the non-profit world, an election can mean uncertainty. A new government could mean new priorities, budgets, and funding. As a result, there is a level of fear and concern, not just for agencies that do good in many communities but also for the jobs and livelihoods they provide. It’s a shame that issues surrounding volunteerism, or even meeting basic needs, have become partisan instead of just being about helping people. Sometimes it's hard not to feel discouraged.

At times, it can feel as if we care more about the colour of the campaign billboard than the greater good. It's no longer about doing what's best; it's about being right. More than ever, we need to learn, or relearn, how to have healthy discourse. When we stop trying to understand where others are coming from, when we stop caring about opinions and perspectives different than ours, we lose our ability for empathy. Regarding politics, astrophysicist turned pop culture personality Neil deGrasse Tyson said, “Without rational discourse among ourselves and our elected representatives, we are non-interacting stovepipes on the brink of burning down the house.”

Committing to learning and understanding is vital if the goal is to better ourselves, our province, and our country. So let's get into the habit of hearing each other out. Let’s get into the practice of having compassion for each other's struggles and perspectives. Let’s make empathy commonplace in our discourse. If you're struggling with your decision to vote, I would encourage you to do two things. First, use the Vote Compass tool to see where you might lie on the political spectrum. Second, do your research. If you value community building and support for those in need, research different parties' policies surrounding those topics.

So where can you go from here? Find the needs in your community and equip yourself and those around you to meet them. How can you make a difference? Don’t wait for someone else to tell you where you should serve. VolunteerConnector exists for this very purpose, a way to connect volunteers to causes. If you are passionate about something, about helping somehow, there is more than likely a space for you to serve.

As always, I wish to encourage everyone reading to remember our privilege. Our privilege of democracy is the freedom to choose our leaders and not feel threatened or afraid to go out and vote. So honor this privilege, don’t take this freedom for granted, and go vote.



Be Selfish, Volunteer

Published: Mar 1, 2023 @ 8:56 AM

The benefits of volunteerism

Volunteering is often heralded as an act of selflessness—a way of serving your community. Give of your time and make the world around you better! On many levels, this is true. Of course, we should do what we can to help others in need and contribute to our community. But what mustn’t be overlooked are the secondary benefits of volunteering — self-improvement and personal growth.

What's in it for me?

Volunteering is a way to give back to your community, build relationships, and improve your well-being. It can also provide personal development and growth; volunteering can be a tremendous building block, personally and professionally.

Additionally, if you are an organization that relies on volunteers, you should be conscious of the personal benefits of volunteering. The volunteer retention rate is significantly higher when individual volunteers are engaged personally, focusing on their skills and interests.

Three benefits to the volunteer

Personal Fulfillment

Some individuals spend their whole lives in search of meaning and purpose. The ultimate question then becomes — where do you find it? Are you fulfilled by your job and success in your career? Do purpose and fulfillment come from family or community? Do you derive purpose from a religious belief? Research suggests that in the same way we find fulfillment at work, we can find personal fulfillment and meaning through volunteering (Caraveo, 2022). If you are considering volunteering or wondering where to serve, consider the things that provide you with personal fulfillment and look for an opportunity to serve in a related area.

Skill Development

Have you ever tried to get a job that requires more experience than you have? How are you meant to obtain said experience? Volunteering is the answer. In a Deloitte survey, 86% of respondents stated that putting volunteer activities on your resume improves your chance of getting hired.

Even if you’re not looking to bolster your resume, if you are a person committed to life-long learning and growth, volunteering can be an excellent tool for personal development. Research on skill-based volunteering tells us two things — volunteers are more fulfilled when they serve based on their skill set, and there is an opportunity in volunteering to learn or develop more skills. (Dempsey-Branch & Shantz 2022).

Building Community

If you are part of a friend group, religious group, or co-workers who have volunteered together, you understand the camaraderie of serving together. If you want to find a community or make friends, volunteering can be the perfect place. If you want to spend time helping at an organization you are passionate about, the odds are high that you will meet someone there with like-minded passions and interests. Meeting new people can also provide an opportunity to grow your professional circle. You never know whom you are going to meet when you volunteer.

The privilege of finding purpose

Remembering that we volunteer out of a position of privilege is important. Not only do we volunteer out of our spare time, but we can also seek meaning, purpose, and community through these activities because we can meet our basic daily needs. Because we don’t lack the necessary support to help us meet certain responsibilities. Because we don’t live under the threat of famine and war. We must understand that it’s out of privilege that we can seek out and ponder the answers to these existential questions of self-fulfillment and growth.

So next time you want to better yourself, learn a new skill, or make a new friend, consider finding a place to volunteer and do some good in the process.



Building Communities Through Volunteering - Guest Blog

Published: Feb 14, 2023 @ 2:56 PM

My Personal Journey of Giving Back and Making Lifelong Connections

Volunteering has always been a big part of my life. I believe that giving back to the community and helping others is a fulfilling experience that can bring people together and build a strong community. My volunteering journey started when I was in college and it has been an incredible journey so far.

One of my most memorable volunteer experiences was when I joined a local food bank to distribute food to the homeless and families in need. It was a challenging task as we had to sort and distribute food to a large number of people in a short amount of time. Despite the challenges, it was a fulfilling experience. I got to interact with many people from different walks of life, and it was heartwarming to see how grateful they were for the food.

Through volunteering, I have met people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Volunteering has given me the opportunity to connect with people on a personal level, and I have made some lifelong friends. I remember meeting a woman named Susan at the food bank who was struggling to make ends meet. She was so grateful for the food and we got talking. Over time, we became good friends and continue to support each other. I feel grateful to have met her and to have made a positive impact in her life.

Another experience that I cherish was volunteering at a local animal shelter. I have always had a love for animals, and this opportunity was a dream come true for me. I got to spend time with the animals, playing with them, feeding them and giving them the love and attention they needed. I was amazed at how each animal had its own personality and how they brought so much joy to everyone who visited the shelter. Through volunteering at the shelter, I got to connect with other animal lovers, and we bonded over our love for animals.

Volunteering has also given me the opportunity to develop new skills and interests. For example, I joined a local community garden where I learned how to grow and maintain a garden. I had no prior experience in gardening, but I was eager to learn and get my hands dirty. Through volunteering, I learned so much about gardening, and I even started growing my own vegetables at home.

In conclusion, volunteering is a great way to build community. It gives us the opportunity to connect with people, make a positive impact in someone’s life, and develop new skills and interests. I believe that by volunteering, we can create a sense of community and bring people together. Whether it is helping at a food bank, animal shelter, or community garden, every volunteer experience is unique and fulfilling in its own way. So, if you haven’t already, I encourage you to find a volunteer opportunity that aligns with your passions and values and join the journey to building a stronger community.

Guest Blogger

Panos Kalsos



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