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Why I volunteer and why you should too!

By Amanda West

Hi, all! My name is Amanda West and I have been a Cliff Bungalow – Mission Community Association volunteer for several years – from a general volunteer, to a Board Member at Large, to my current position as Treasurer. I am moving back to the West Coast in January and my stint as an über-volunteer here is almost over, but I am going to miss it, and all the friends that I have made in this community, dreadfully.

Volunteering is what balances my life. For most of us, our work is not our passion. If you are lucky, the employment that you have is something that you enjoy, but for some of us, we need something outside of work that gives us a feeling of connection, of accomplishment and of community.

I am one of those people that gets the most out of giving service to others. My parents were avid volunteers throughout my childhood, and I suppose that some of that rubbed off on me. I enjoy and get a lot of gratification from every volunteer experience that I’ve had. From the smallest acts of kindness to donating my time, effort and service – all of these things have made a difference for me, allowing me to gain valuable experience and expanding my horizons in immeasurable ways.

And let me tell you, speaking for myself, it’s not about the recognition, although I will readily admit that it is great to have someone recognise your efforts and successes. Most volunteer work, though, is done outside of the limelight, but it does give you an inner sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that is hard to describe. And you’ll be surprised at how addictive it is.

In short – go volunteer! Pick something that you enjoy doing and find a volunteer situation that fits. From Community Associations, to OAP Societies to the Red Cross – there are a multitude of volunteer groups here in Calgary alone and there is something out there that will fit your skills. Believe me, they are looking for you!

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