At NYCH, we have a fantastic group of volunteers. So, we thought we'd introduce you to some of the amazing individuals who generously share their time and expertise across our organization.
Meet Helen - previously a mentee with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), she eventually decided to become a mentor herself as a way to give back to the community. She is currently, a Volunteer Mentor with our Newcomer Connections for Senior Caregivers project.
Q: What made you decide to become a volunteer?
A: I attended York Regions’ conference for the Internationally Educated Professionals (IEPS). One of the speakers repeatedly said volunteering is the key job search strategy. That widened the sphere of my thoughts and, instantly, I took a decision to become a volunteer. I am actively volunteering with North York Community House. Volunteering opens up opportunities, it is a great way to meet different people, acquire skills and a fantastic way to build on personal and professional development.
Q: How did you get connected with NYCH?
A: I got connected with NYCH through my first hand experience with Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) as a mentee. My mentor introduced me to her good friend - one of the dedicated Directors at North York Community House. I scheduled an informational interview with her to gain more insight into workplace culture and the working practices of my profession in Canada. I felt strengthened and inspired after the meeting because her organizational workplace values and goals are aligned with mine. Given the contact of the Volunteer Coordinator, my crystal ball revealed to me that I can be part of a passionate team that provides exceptional services to the community.
Q: What has been your favourite thing about volunteering at NYCH so far?
A: My favourite thing about volunteering at NYCH so far is their organizational structure. You can’t miss any update or activity. Their coordination and supervision are directed toward the achievement of the organizational aim. Workshops and training sessions are usually described as thought-provoking, practical and fun. Culture fit is very important in making the decision of where to volunteer. NYCH welcomes people from diverse cultures and also encourages professional relationships. They are like one big family working towards a common vision. This has added a great deal to my life and the lives of those for whom I volunteer. Volunteering with NYCH offered me a chance to become involved in a project (Newcomers Connections for Senior Caregivers) as a Mentor. This is a passionate service given to senior caregivers to reduce isolation and enhance their lives. I was lucky to join NYCH when the project was newly introduced. To me, the project is a life saver. Volunteering with NYCH has made a positive difference to my life. I was a Mentee with Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Today, I am a Mentor at NYCH - giving something back to the community.
Q: Why do you think volunteering is important?
A: The importance of volunteering cannot be overemphasized. The impact on the community is amazing. Volunteering improves and supports our community by giving energy and time to non-profit agencies that provide passionate services to the residents of the community. Volunteering is not only beneficial to the community but also to the volunteer. As a volunteer, you learn something new, develop new skills and keep skills alive, make new friends and contacts, build your professional network, explore careers, develop confidence and self esteem.
Sometimes volunteering may lead to a job. It gives you a chance to become involved with an organization you really care about. In a nutshell, volunteering is helping others while helping yourself. The only reward of virtue is virtue. It is not a one-way service. A great experience to have. Try it on today - you will be very happy you did!
Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
A: My super power would be healing. To take away pain and suffering from the world. Wish my super power could help those experiencing mental health issues and heal those with terminal illnesses like cancer.
We're so grateful for the efforts of all our volunteers, and hope to feature many more of them on our blog. If you would like to volunteer with North York Community House, please submit an online application.