Volunteer Appreciation Night

By Swetha Sairam

“There are two kinds of Heroes – Marvel Heroes and [then] there is The Volunteer,” inspirational words said by Wassam Sheikh Qassim, from Eden Food for Change to a roomful of young volunteers at the Volunteer Appreciation Night hosted by CMRA on October 2, 2017.

The evening started with Shazia Aman, President of the CMRA, introducing the special guest, Terry Clark, an avid volunteer of Habitat For Humanity and chairs the Family Selection Committee of Halton Mississauga. In her speech, she pointed out the benefits of volunteering and gave examples of how volunteering can become a passion for future professional endeavors. She drew references from her own life and how enriched her life has become as a result.

“Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless” drew a round of applause from the young dedicated volunteers. Terry also brought to light that volunteering was not just for graduation requirements alone but rather it helps build contacts, provides chances to meet people and use a skill or talent. As well, it makes for a healthier and stress-free life.  She pointed out that there are multiple choices in volunteering, such as charities, affordable housing and family oriented non- profits. She mentioned Erin Oaks Kids and Sleeping Children around the World. Both groups thrive with help from volunteers. Choosing an organization that identifies with your passion and interests is key to a successful volunteer. Ending her speech, she said that the sense of community feeling is strengthened by volunteering and it is a chance to give back to the community and the world.

How well that relates to what Adnan Moinuddin said, “Volunteering makes for a better world now and [for the] future than it is today.”

All the volunteers were presented with certificates and Tim Horton’s gift cards.  Select volunteers among the parents and members were appreciated for “going all the way and who gave above and beyond”. In the few hours of the evening, the young volunteers understood the importance and need of their efforts especially to those whom they have helped. They understood the phrase “You Can Make a World of Difference” all too well.