National Volunteer Week is an initiative of Volunteer Canada that encourages organizations to recognize the contributions of volunteers towards creating a strong, interconnected, and vibrant community. For National Volunteer Week 2023, we are highlighting some of the amazing work that our staff are doing in their communities. In the final instalment of this series, Donovan Gerber, our Training Specialist at Head Office, shares about his experience with the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale.
Tell us about a volunteer experience.
For a few years, I volunteered on the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale committee. This committee was made up of a number of individuals who dedicated a lot of time and energy into planning and organizing a large relief sale that raised funds for Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. I served on this committee as secretary which involved taking meeting minutes, sending out tickets for a fundraising dinner, and also volunteering the day of the sale in various capacities.
What compelled you to volunteer?
I was introduced to this volunteer opportunity by a friend who was stepping down as secretary and who reached out to me to see if I would be interested in filling the role. They knew my connection to the community, my personal skills, and thought I would be a good fit.
Describe the feeling volunteering gives you?
Volunteering has always given me a sense of purpose. I enjoy seeing the work that goes into different events and activities and seeing the results in how people enjoy the event. I also enjoy seeing the awareness they are bringing to current issues and seeing how my small part plays into the bigger picture.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about volunteering?
My advice would be to put yourself out there. There are so many groups and organizations that need volunteers that will align with your personal interests and skills (helping the elderly, raising funds for a local initiative, working with youth, etc). Connecting and reaching out to people in your life to see where you can help will make you aware of the needs in our area!
Do you do any other volunteering in addition to the role we are highlighting in the above questions?
I currently volunteer at Kindred on the Social Committee as well as the Equity Diversity Inclusivity group. I am looking forward this year to finding some public organizations/non-profits to support with my volunteerism.