At the start of the year, I set a lofty goal of volunteering 365 hours of community service. Getting to 200 hours of community service in 7 months hasn’t been easy. I’ve had to challenge myself and plan ahead. The wisdom found in Mark McCormack’s book Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age has been incredibly helpful with this goal.
McCormack recounts an exchange between a reporter and basketball great Michael Jordan in Staying Street Smart in the Internet Age. After a game, a reporter asked Michael Jordan how he maintained his consistency for over a decade. Jordan responded, “I simplified it a few years ago: thirty-two points per game is really just eight points a quarter. I figure I can get that in some kind of way during the course of a game”. As McCormack points out, goals are much more attainable when you break them down into manageable parts.
My first event this month was the Oh Canada! Ribfest in Waterdown. I volunteered at this event earlier during the long weekend, but I made sure to return on Canada Day so I could see the impressive fireworks display. One of the values I admire most about this country is the dedication we have to community service. Canadians simply like to help others. Not only does volunteering enrich our lives, it also contributes positively to the economic wellbeing of our country.
July was also a significant month for Participatory Budgeting Ward 2 (PBW2). Project proposals were submitted, delegates from each assembly were meeting collectively, and we went on a bus tour of various project sites. Being able to visit the various project sites alongside delegates and fellow organizers was an unforgettable experience. While each of the neighbourhoods face unique challenges, it was inspiring to see people of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds come together with ideas on how to improve Ward 2. For more information about the sites visited on the tour, read Matthew Van Dongen’s article in the Hamilton Spectator.
In total, I volunteered 30 hours of community service this month. My hours were accumulated with the Burlington Braves, PBW2, as well as with the Oh Canada! Ribfest.