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. As a financial cooperative, Kindred Credit Union goes beyond financial transactions to find meaningful engagement in our communities. One of the ways that we do this is by encouraging staff to volunteer.
For National Volunteer Week 2023, we are highlighting some of the amazing work that our staff are doing in their communities. Get ready to be inspired!
Linda Thiesssen, our Branch Manager in Aylmer, shares about her experience volunteering for Radio DeBrigj.
Tell us about your volunteer experience.
My volunteer work is with Radio DeBrigj which is run by Mennonite Community Services. I create a radio program once a month in Plautdietsch (Low German) for their “Mom to Mom” program. I record and edit my own programs. These segments are aired live in our area, Mexico, and parts of South America. They also get saved on their website under their “Latest Podcasts” for listeners who weren’t able to listen live.
These “Mom to Mom” segments are geared to moms and their families. Topics range from parenting tips, spiritual insight, how-to’s, and mental health-care; with a goal to encourage, uplift, and empower moms to be their best selves and raise emotionally and mentally strong kids.
What compelled you to volunteer?
I heard about this opportunity in 2014 directly from Maria Dyck. Maria began this program with her daughter who was creating content full-time and wanted to get more moms involved. Maria approached me. We had coffee together and she told me about their program, their outreach and impact.
At that time, I was a stay-at-home mom myself. I longed to create a positive impact for others. I had been through the phase of thinking I had to be just like other moms in order to be a good mom. Once I broke through all of that and found my “permission” to parent how I was meant to and be the mom my children needed me to be (and not like the other moms) I felt really free and empowered. My household really thrived. I wanted to share that experience.
How does volunteering make you feel?
Having been raised in a Mennonite community, I wanted to encourage young moms to not only meet their children’s physical needs, but also their emotional needs. I wanted to bring positive change. I saw this volunteer opportunity as a chance to do just that, through encouragement and education.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about volunteering?
Do it! You are enough! You can make a difference without having a title or prestigious degrees. Don’t ignore that burning desire you have to be a change-agent.
Volunteering not only benefits others, but it also benefits you. The dopamine increases in your brain from the feeling you get from helping others, which has a positive effect on your mental health and you end up feeling happier.