Volunteer365: December

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 Christmas Parade

Burlington Christmas Parade

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.

IKEA Tree Lot in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

IKEA Tree Lot in support of Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

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:

Volunteer Hamilton
Barbara Klimstra
Michael Gustar

Alzheimer Society of Hamilton and Halton
Anne Cheeseman
Meaghan Plomp

Town of Oakville
Jonathan Brooker
Jessica Warren

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
John DeAngelis

Gina Downes

Green Venture
Virginia Stonehouse

Around The Bay Road Race
Shelley & Michael Zajczenko

Burlington Runner’s Club
Brian Donaldson

Rotary Club of Waterdown
Garry Flood

Burlington Minor Football Association
Larry Irish
Janeen Stodulski
Lisa Lehmann
Jay Stillie
Alexa Kostuk
Jodie Scoular

The Escarpment Project
Greg Lenko
Stefannie Wheeler

City of Hamilton & Durand Neighbourhood Association
Philip Homerski
Janice Brown

Stewards of Cootes Watershed
Alan Hansell

Participatory Budgeting Hamilton
Norman Kearney
Brandon Braithwaite
Residents of Hamilton’s North End
Dave Stephens
Dawn Manning
Councillor Farr
Maureen Scally

The Lung Association
Sandy Lee
Rose Pusztai
Jean Foster

Burlington Sound of Music Festival
Carla Leyer

Rotary Club of Waterdown & Rotary Club of Flamborough AM
Ryan Bridge

Volunteer Flamborough
Mary Beth Kennedy

Dundas Cactus Festival
Melanie Haworth

Rotary Club of Stoney Creek
Martina Bainbridge

Habitat for Humanity
Paul de Courcy
Rhonda Stephenson
Victoria Doidge

McMaster University
Lori Moulden

Hamilton Civic League
Larry Pomerantz

Penny Dobson

Terry Fox Run
Jane Vowles

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Shalom Village
Debbie Ginsberg

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Hamilton & Burlington
Kiara Fracassi
Tracey O’Connor

City of Burlington
Alexandria Hamilton

Stoney Creek Santa Claus Parade
Nadia Gigliotti

Victoria Racette