Amreen’s Story: Giving back as a volunteer

It’s National Volunteer Week, and DIVERSEcity is proud of the volunteers who dedicate their time to our organization to make it better.

Here’s Amreen’s story

Amreen is a busy health sciences student at Simon Fraser University, but this semester she had a lighter class schedule so decided to volunteer in the community. Her parents had always instilled in her the value of giving back. Looking around at volunteer opportunities in Surrey, she approached DIVERSEcity because of the personal connection she feels to the immigration experience.

“My parents immigrated here from India, but they didn’t have family or resources to help them. It was difficult for them as they didn’t know the language well and their experience didn’t transfer to Canada, so they sent me to go live with my grandparents in India for three years while they established themselves,” says Amreen. “I see the impact an [organization] like DIVERSEcity would have had for them; it would have been really helpful.”

Volunteering with DIVERSEcity feels like a full-circle moment for Amreen, who has been volunteering with various departments, including DIVERSEcity’s TAPS program for seniors. “The seniors just really want to talk to people. They are so isolated [without a program like TAPS]. They told me they don’t have anyone to tell their stories to,” says Amreen, who enjoys talking with the seniors in their language.

Amreen is also supporting the Together Project – Surrey, which matches groups of volunteers known as “welcome groups” with newly arrived refugees for meaningful settlement support and information.

“We’re supporting a family of four from Afghanistan. We help them with their questions and help find them resources in the community like finding a place for them to rent or programs to take. We’re also helping them with English.”

To others thinking of volunteering their time in the community, Amreen highly recommends it. “It’s good to give back, speaking from a health perspective, which I know best, as well as a social one. It just feels good to know you’re doing something from your heart. It’s really rewarding and a great life experience.”

Learn about volunteering with DIVERSEcity here.