I was never one of those children who knew exactly what they wanted to do as they were growing up, but I knew I wanted to help people. Growing up in Zimbabwe, I witnessed poverty and disease and knew that I wanted to make a difference, yet I didn’t really know how. At 13, I moved to the United States. During my years in high school, I learned about volunteering and community service. My first experience with volunteering was when our French club decided to set up an Easter Egg hunt at our local senior living community centre. The joy and excitement on the faces of the seniors were priceless. It seemed like a small thing to do for them, but it made their day.
After such a heartwarming introduction, I decided to volunteer during several well-known public holidays: Serving meals at shelters for Thanksgiving, taking part in toy drives and canned food drives over Christmas. Caroling and handing out donated gifts at the local shelter. When I moved to Canada, I knew that I wanted to continue in community service. What better way to learn about and integrate into my new community? I came across Volunteer MBC while searching for opportunities online. I created a profile to be connected to opportunities I had an interest in. As it turned out, one of the opportunities was for a Volunteer Journalist with Volunteer MBC itself.
I had grown to love writing and was even on my High School newspaper team. However, as I got older I stopped writing, albeit with a promise to myself that I would get back to it. The Volunteer Journalist position was an opportunity to get back to what I loved and also serve the community. I applied, but I honestly didn’t think I had a chance, since I hadn’t written in so long. I was pleasantly surprised to be called in for an interview. I interviewed and submitted some writing samples and then received an invitation to take on the role!
At my first meeting with the staff at Volunteer MBC, I was offered a choice. I could take on the position of Volunteer Journalist or I could learn the position of Social Media Assistant. Not as much writing, but I would get to learn new skills like graphic design, social media marketing and management. I chose to take on the Social Media Assistant position and I have learned so much in the process. I get to use my writing and creativity to promote great community service events and volunteer opportunities.
Working with Volunteer MBC has taught me about meaningful volunteerism, in that I can combine my passion for writing with my love for community service in a way I could never have imagined. I had the honour and privilege of being recognized by Volunteer MBC with a ‘Galaxy Star Certificate’ at this year’s V-Oscars for my volunteer work! I hope to continue to learn and grow while making ongoing contributions to the community, with the bonus of continuing to develop and enhance my skills as a writer.