National Volunteer Week is a celebration of the value volunteers bring

The value of one, the power of many — that’s the theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week

Coming off our successful Annual Volunteer Fair earlier this month, where DIVERSEcity’s Volunteer Program matches volunteers with opportunities at partner organizations, we know the value that volunteers bring to our communities, according to Rola Nasreddine, assistant manager, Volunteer & Civic Engagement, with DIVERSEcity.

From lending a helping hand with our seniors programs to sharing their skills in accounting at our Annual Income Tax Clinic, we rely on hundreds of volunteers a year to help us reach out to the community.

Our volunteers, many of whom are newcomers to Canada and struggling to find work in their field, also benefit from the experience.

Faheem, originally of Pakistan, told Canadian Immigrant magazine that his volunteering experience with DIVERSEcity was a source of great satisfaction. A senior himself, Faheem has been part of food distribution programs and driving other seniors to and from appointments among other volunteering roles. “Volunteering during COVID gave me a chance to explore the needs of the vulnerable members of our community — particularly seniors from different backgrounds, cultures and languages,” he says.

With decades of business and banking experience back in his country of origin, Faheem has also supported DIVERSEcity’s Annual Income Tax Clinic.

Since his family’s immigration in 2004, Faheem couldn’t find work in his field, and had been “commuting” between Canada and Pakistan, in order to support his family, including four children — three of which he supported through medical school here. After volunteering with DIVERSEcity, and taking a course through DIVERSEcity Skills Training Centre, among other additional training and certifications, Faheem says that now, back in Canada more permanently, “I am also hoping to secure a permanent position and this [volunteering] experience will definitely help in that.”

Faheem is also very complimentary about Anu, the volunteer coordinator he first dealt with at DIVERSEcity, along with the other DIVERSEcity staff who supported his volunteering efforts.
“The most important thing was the entry point interaction which was Anu for me. A polite, humble, soft-spoken and respectful lady inspired me, and there and then I decided to sign up [to be a volunteer]. The major benefit that came to my mind was that the institution’s culture, which I sensed meeting Anu in her office, was relaxing and would give me the opportunity to energize my positive energy to serve the community. The major skills which I targeted to explore and learn how to deal with needy people particularly the seniors from different backgrounds, cultures and languages.”

Philippines-born Susan is also a volunteer with the Income Tax Clinic. With a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Manila, she decided to volunteer with the tax clinic to hone her skills in the Canadian context.

“I heard about the volunteer program way back 2013 when I finished my accounting and payroll course here in Canada. I was looking for a job to gain experiences. Last December, I decided to come back for volunteering again to enhance my knowledge doing taxes and at the same time to help people,” says Susan. “Volunteering has helped me practise my soft skills such as teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, organization and adaptability.”

Interested in volunteering with DIVERSEcity? Our Volunteer Program offers a variety of positions that can match your passion, skills and experience.  We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds who are 19+ years of age and located within Surrey, Delta, Langley and Cloverdale. As a DIVERSEcity volunteer, you are truly building a stronger community. Learn more here.

Photo above: In the fall, we held our Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event virtually.