Rebecca Soares, Conestoga College Print Journalism Student | April 2, 2018
“The heart of a volunteer can’t be measured in size, but by the depth of commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.” -DeAnn Hollis
We all need a break from the everyday work grind but sometimes we don’t know what will give us that breath of fresh air we’ve been longing for. We need to break the wheel of repetition within our lives from time to time and the perfect way to do so is volunteering. Volunteering provides people with a variety of opportunities to explore new things while simultaneously helping our community.
“People volunteer at Idea Exchange because it’s flexible. It provides the freedom to discover and explore new or established interests and skills; to be involved in what they’re personally passionate about,” said Shannon Markle, Volunteer and Newcomer Specialist of Idea Exchange.
Flexibility isn’t the only reason to get involved in volunteering. Volunteering allows individuals to help their community, allowing it to grow and flourish. It gives people a sense of connection to their community and makes it a better place.
Whether individuals are new to the community or have lived here for a long time, everyone needs to feel as they belong somewhere or they may feel isolated. Could you imagine living in a community where you don’t feel like you have a place? Neither can we, which is why, in the spirit of National Volunteer Month, we encourage individuals to reach out to their community and make connections through volunteering.
Volunteering has also proven to benefit people by helping reduce their risk of depression, help counteract anxiety, anger and stress, among other things. The benefits of being a volunteer are endless for both the volunteer and the community. The work of volunteers is invaluable.
Did you know, volunteers devoted about 1.96 billion hours, a volume of work that is equivalent to about 1 million full-time jobs? (Stats Canada, 2013). That’s unbelievable! Think of the difference that made in people's lives and, just think, you could be a part of that difference.
Idea Exchange has a variety of volunteer opportunities to help people get involved. As of March 2018, there are a total of 444 active volunteers with Idea Exchange. Perhaps you want to help at our video games lounge or volunteer in the children’s department. Maybe you would like to be part of something new with our Newcomer Focus Group. This group works to discover ways of helping newcomers to Cambridge get to known their new home, meet their neighbours, and build the kind of bonds that make our community stronger. The opportunities are endless.
Ready to make a difference for the community and yourself by volunteering? Visit our volunteer page and fill in an application. We are waiting to welcome you to the team.
Idea Exchange is extremely grateful to all of our volunteers. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Your contribution makes all the difference to us and to the community. You’re all rockstars!