My Volunteer Story: Lisa Dantas

“Follow your passion.  It will lead you to your purpose.” – Oprah Winfrey
 
The hustle and bustle of day-to-day life can be mundane, tedious and monotonous for many. Workplace boredom is widespread, employees don’t feel psychologically connected to the organization they work for, and employers are struggling to find creative, engaging passion and talent. How can we solve this problem? According to Lisa Dantas, HR specialist and consultant, the solution is simple: when people work in an area that they have a passion for, enjoy doing, and genuinely care about, their job is no longer something that they just do – it gives their lives a sense of purpose and meaning. Lisa, who has studied and worked in the HR field for many years, currently provides consulting services for businesses and volunteers at several organizations within the Peel region. For Lisa, the work that she does is more than a job – it’s her life purpose.  By volunteering her professional expertise to help businesses and not-for-profit organizations, Lisa has made a difference in countless lives within her community.  
 
Since 2011, Lisa has been an active volunteer at the Junior Achievement (JA) of Central Ontario. This not-for-profit organization focuses on educating students in financial literacy and preparing them for success in the global economy. Lisa works alongside a team of other business professionals to deliver educational sessions in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness skills, in schools around the Peel region. For Lisa, it’s a chance to give back to the community and an opportunity to share her skills and experience in HR.  “When I’m coordinating a session, I get to work with young people who are full of enthusiasm, creative, and engaging. I learn to see things from their perspective, and I find out how to better relate to them – and it’s especially helpful for me, since I have three kids of my own.” Lisa strongly believes that volunteering is a great way for business professionals and industry leaders to share their expertise with the next generation. Each person has a unique set of skills, knowledge and experiences, all of which serve as invaluable advice in preparing and inspiring young people.  
 
In addition to volunteering with JA Central Ontario, Lisa also works as a content writer at Volunteer MBC. Lisa, who has enjoyed reading and writing since childhood, came across this position and decided to apply because it was a chance to leverage her writing skills and passion for promoting volunteerism. As a content writer, Lisa conducts over-the-phone interviews with other people about their volunteer journey and experiences. Being able to work from home is an added benefit, since Lisa also needs to take care of her family.  In addition to writing spotlight stories, Lisa has also developed training webinars for Volunteer MBC, utilizing her HR background.    
 
Lisa believes in the importance of volunteering for an organization/cause that you care about. “Before you volunteer, ask yourself: ‘What do I like?’ ‘What am I good at?’ ‘What can I do to help others?’ The answers to these questions will lead you to understand where your passion lies, and will guide you to find volunteer work in that area. When you feel a sense of emotional connection with the organization you volunteer for, you’re automatically more engaged and willing to spend more time in helping the organization achieve its mission.” As Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of Britain, puts it, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  
 
Written by: Audrey Pao