Volunteer 365: August

As of this point, I’ve volunteered 256.25 hours of community service. It’s been a remarkable journey. I feel I’ve learned so much from each event and organization I’ve been involved with this year. What I’ve come to appreciate the most is the support of the community. I’d especially like to thank Volunteer Hamilton and Mary Beth Kennedy of Volunteer Flamborough. Both have been a tremendous resource for finding volunteer opportunities.

Residents of Ward 2 were able to vote at mobile polling stations.

Residents of Ward 2 were able to vote at mobile polling stations.

I was very fortunate to be part of Hamilton’s successful experiment with participatory budgeting. For the past four months, I’ve volunteered my time as an assembly organizer for Participatory Budgeting Ward 2 (PBW2). I held weekly meetings at Bennetto Community Centre, canvassed the North End, and assisted with numerous other tasks that led up to the vote on August 24 & 25. It was an honour to be involved with PBW2. The excitement shown for this process leads me to believe that civic engagement has played a significant role in the revival of this great city.

Burlington Braves

Burlington Braves

I’ve also been volunteering with the Burlington Braves of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL). I’ve created and maintained the team’s social media presence, and have organized game days and community events. Perhaps my biggest contribution to the team is recruiting two interns from McMaster University. They’ve taken photos, filmed home games, and assisted with events.

Dundas Cactus Festival

Dundas Cactus Festival

I always enjoy volunteering at festivals. This month I had the pleasure of volunteering at both the Dundas Cactus Festival and the Winona Peach Festival. I served as an ambassador for the 38th annual Dundas Cactus Festival. My duties included monitoring sections of the festival, as well as greeting visitors. CBC Hamilton featured one of my tweets in their article about the Dundas Cactus Festival. The following weekend, I volunteered with the Rotary Club of Stoney Creek at the Winona Peach Festival. They were selling crepes and pierogies to raise funds for the great causes they support. I helped to load and unload food products, as well as serve drinks.

Winona Peach Festival

Winona Peach Festival

Finally, I participated in a volunteer orientation with Habitat for Humanity. I plan to continue my involvement with Habitat for Humanity either at their retail store or on-site at their community builds. There seem to be fewer community events in the fall and winter months, so this seems like an excellent way to continue volunteering as the year comes to an end.

In total, I volunteered 44 hours this month with the Burlington Braves, PBW2, Dundas Cactus Festival, Rotary Club of Stoney Creek, and Habitat for Humanity.

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