I began the year looking to make a meaningful difference in my community. As I write the final blog post in this series, I know that I’ve accomplished so much more. I’ve been able to meet some amazing people, learn more about my community, and successfully complete perhaps the most rewarding experience of my life.
In my final month, I volunteered 28 hours of community service. I had the opportunity to participate in two holiday parades. I volunteered with the Burlington Christmas Parade and the Stoney Creek Santa Claus Parade. I also helped to sell Christmas trees with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hamilton and Burlington.
Burlington’s Christmas Parade represented the first time I was involved in a parade. There’s a lot of work that goes in to coordinating these types of events. It requires the closure of several main streets, a strong police presence, and an element of luck. When everything goes well, there’s something magical about the parade that makes it a memorable moment for everyone. This year’s parade was a tremendous success. I helped out by distributing toys to children before the start of the parade, and then served as a crowd monitor until its conclusion. I was also involved with the Stoney Creek Santa Claus Parade. I was responsible for walking the parade route with a sponsorship banner.
The final few hours were completed at IKEA in Burlington. IKEA partnered with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hamilton & Burlington to sell Christmas trees. Trees were sold for $20 with $1 from each purchase going to Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Last year, $16,000 was raised through this initiative. I was inspired to see so many people making this their holiday tradition. It also gave me an opportunity to find out more about Big Brothers & Big Sisters. I’d like to continue to volunteer with this organization next year.
I’ve successfully completed 365 hours of community service this year. This wouldn’t have been possible without the cooperation of a number of individuals and organizations. I’d like to take this moment to thank each and every single one of them:
Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton
Town of Oakville
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
Around The Bay Road Race
Shelley & Michael Zajczenko
Burlington Runner’s Club
Rotary Club of Waterdown
Burlington Minor Football Association
The Escarpment Project
City of Hamilton & Durand Neighbourhood Association
Stewards of Cootes Watershed
Participatory Budgeting Hamilton
Residents of Hamilton’s North End
The Lung Association
Burlington Sound of Music Festival
Rotary Club of Waterdown & Rotary Club of Flamborough AM
Mary Beth Kennedy
Dundas Cactus Festival
Rotary Club of Stoney Creek
Habitat for Humanity
Paul de Courcy
Hamilton Civic League
Terry Fox Run
Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hamilton & Burlington
City of Burlington
Stoney Creek Santa Claus Parade