Volunteer365: March

I began the month of March volunteering with Green Venture. Green Venture is a local non-profit organization committed to helping Hamilton-area residents live more sustainably. The organization promotes energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and pollution prevention through local initiatives.

Green Venture has been offering bus education workshops for a number of years as part of their Totally Transit program. This year has seen the program expand to include workshops for seniors. Through a series of free workshops, older adults are introduced to the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR), Hamilton’s public transit service. These workshops cover topics such as bus routes, bus fare, seniors’ discounts, and trip planning. After attending a workshop, seniors are paired with a bus tour guide. I attended a workshop at the Sackville Hill Seniors Centre and guided two bus tours.

An HSR bus arrives at the MacNab Street Transit Terminal.

An HSR bus arrives at the MacNab Street Transit Terminal.

My next volunteer opportunity came with this year’s Around the Bay Road Race. Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race is the oldest such race in North America. The tradition began in 1894, and is a signature event that attracts people from all over the world. I was able to volunteer in several capacities this year. My first role was to handout race packets on the day before the race. I saw several people that I knew pick-up their packets that day. In fact, a few former colleagues from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats decided to run the race.

Around the Bay Road Race

Around the Bay Road Race

On race day, I began by directing runners to the appropriate starting line. While the Around the Bay Road Race is known for its 30K run, there are actually several different races going on: 30K, 30K 3-Person Relay, 30K 2-Person Relay, and the 5K. After each of these races started, my next job was to congratulate the runners as they finished. I also directed them to medal pick-up and first aid.

Good Friday Road Races

Good Friday Road Races – Burlington, Ontario

In hopes of completing all the required hours for the month of March, I had to find an event during the Easter long weekend. Fortunately, I was able to volunteer with the Good Friday Road Races put on by the Burlington Runners Club. This was my second consecutive week volunteering with a road race, and it inspired me to add running a road race to my list of things to do.

I also began work on two long-term projects with the Rotary Club of Waterdown and the Burlington Braves. Further details on these projects will become available in April. In total, I’ve volunteered 70.25 hours over the first three months of 2013. March was my most successful month, as I finished with 31 hours.