‘Get out there!’: 3 tips for volunteers in Calgary

For internationally trained professionals new to Canada, volunteering is a great way to connect with others, gain valuable experience and boost your confidence.

That message was front and centre at CRIEC’s recent Volunteerism 101 workshop at Bow Valley College. With a packed house in attendance, local leaders shared their knowledge and wisdom, beginning with Azmin Poonja, manager of Volunteer Resources at Calgary Public Library.

Azmin inspired us by sharing about library volunteers and the 3 Things for Canada campaign, which encourages every Canadian to do three acts of service in 2017. Azmin reminded us that what we do doesn’t necessarily have to be big or even formal. Small acts of kindness have an impact too, and make Canada a better country.

The panel discussion that followed was a chance to get energized about contributing to community, building networks and opening new possibilities through volunteering. It was all about what happens when you get out there and make a difference in ways big and small.

Here are three takeaways from the conversation:

  • Find a volunteer opportunity you’re passionate about – something that aligns with your values. (Check out the Propellus website for local volunteer opportunities.)
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new and step outside your comfort zone.
  • When you volunteer, treat it like a job. Bring your best self to the role. You never know where it will lead and what doors might open.

Thank you to all who attended the workshop, and special thanks to Azmin and our panel of local experts (from left to right in photo): Himanshu Singal, Maurice Enabu, Marcella Garcia-Carrillo, LeeAnne Alexander and Andrea Rhodes. We are better for having heard your insights!

To connect with CRIEC and be in the loop when the next Volunteerism 101 workshop is held, contact Bruce Randall at bruce@criec.ca.

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