King’s University College held their bi-semester Volunteer Fair from January 22 to 24, which was accompanied by twelve highly diverse and community-driven volunteer agencies. The attendees included Junior Achievement, Children’s Aid Society, Pillar Nonprofit Network, Thames Region Ecological Association (TREA), Make-A-Wish Foundation, Victim Services of Middlesex-London, Community Living London, Hutton House, Investing in Children, Chelsey Park, The London Food Bank, and finally, The Children’s Health Foundation. Before diving into the vast impact these organizations have within the broader community, the King’s community, and student growth, I would like to thank each volunteer agency for their dedication in bridging student curiosity into reality by way of providing community engagement opportunities. On behalf of the King’s community, we thank you.
Let us maneuver into a more in-depth view of the various volunteer agencies to reveal the positive community impact these agencies foster, as well as how they offer students additional opportunities to become apart of this mutually beneficial partnership. Junior Achievement delivers intellectually stimulating business-themed programs to youth throughout Canada, primarily focusing on financial literacy, work-readiness preparation, and entrepreneurship-building. For instance, “Economics for Success” is offered to Grade 8 students, which teaches youth the basics of networking, budgeting for the future, and building a brand. Volunteers facilitate the program for an entire school day, while having the choice of 16 different program options to suit the volunteer’s interests. Alternatively, if you are passionate about environmental sustainability, then volunteering with TREA may be the right choice for you. TREA’s mandate is to not only educating the public on environmental importance, but to also offer citizens the opportunity to participate on innovative environmental projects. For example, volunteers have the chance to learn environmental sustainability strategies in various workshops, assist with compost projects at festivals, and participate in large projects that promote London’s local agricultural community.
As busy students, the time commitment required and transportation are significant barriers that prevent volunteer participation, which can demotivate students from getting involved in the local community. Despite these barriers, the diversity and flexibility in the above agencies provide various volunteer placements that will suit a student’s needs and eliminate the barricades that may seem unavoidable.
King’s students have not only shown great interest in volunteering but have also offered key accounts of how important it is to develop a mutually beneficial partnership with community-targeted organizations. According to a third-year Psychology major, “the Volunteer Fair is an amazing opportunity to learn about community struggles while having the chance to help solve these struggles and grow at the same time.” But, what sort of advantages could a student gain by being involved in a mutually beneficial partnership? This question was common in the King’s community. Here’s what they said: networking, teamwork, a sense of accomplishment, intrinsic rewards and interpersonal skills, the list goes on. It becomes apparent that volunteering, especially with an agency you are passionate about, will lead to a wide set of personal advantages in combination with reducing community hardships.
Remember, it is never too late to begin your very own community engagement experience. If you are interested in becoming involved within the community but were unable to make it to the Volunteer Fair, that is not a problem because volunteer placements have been reserved specifically for students at King’s University College. Contact the KUCSC Volunteer Commissioners at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your community enrichment journey.