People decide to volunteer for a wide variety of reasons. Some volunteer to help a friend host an event, to meet new people, or to support parents who are volunteering at an event. Kulvir Gill started volunteering by accompanying his parents when they volunteered, but quickly started volunteering on his own. The volunteering that he has done has shaped him into the person he is today, and he couldn’t imagine his life any other way.
Although exposure to volunteering started with his parents, it is also a huge part of his religion to give back to the community and having a sense of duty. To Kulvir, volunteering is all about helping out communities. “Giving back to the community makes the world a better place” he says. “A community is made out of people helping people. When a bunch of people come together and realize that people need help, maybe others will hear that call and decide to volunteer themselves.” This led Kulvir to where he is today as one of the co-founders of the Seva Food Bank, an initiative of Sikhs Serving Canada where he remains an active board member.
“A food bank is one way to help the community as a whole. We really need to be working together on all different levels, and a food bank helps all those who are in need.” Says Kulvir. “It is something that is bigger than myself and I am happy to be a part of it.”
Among other volunteer roles that he has had, volunteering at the food bank is his greatest accomplishment to date. It has been running for 5 years now and currently serves 600 families every month. It gives him tremendous pride having donors giving to the food bank and placing their trust in him. People who used to be clients of the food bank are now back on their feet and have become donors or volunteers at the food bank.
Some advice that Kulvir has for other people who are looking to volunteer is to just simply start. “There will always be reasons not to volunteer, but you just have to set time aside and just go for it. It can be something as small as helping your neighbour or something at school. Whatever it is that you are passionate about and care about, then you will find a way to help out.”
For Kulvir, it is not just about helping out, volunteering is part of who he is. He gained his career through volunteering, and his family and friends have done so as well. It helped him shape his identity and through volunteering, he was able to help shape the community - but the community still helps to shape him through all the mentors and friends he has discovered through volunteering. “When you volunteer, you are doing so with people who share the same set of beliefs and values as you. They are there because they want to be there and when you volunteer with people who want to be there and do something good, then how can you not have a great time doing that?”
Written by Andrew Dmytrasz, Volunteer Writer