If you are new to volunteering or looking to get started, what better way than to talk to fellow employees about their volunteering experiences … so that’s what I did.
I reached out to Lisa Wong from the Winnipeg branch and Benevity team captain to get a better idea of where she volunteers – and I was very surprised by what I found out. Lisa has been with Ian Martin for almost a year, and has made a significant impact on her community just by volunteering.
Hi, Lisa. How long have you been volunteering?
The bulk of my volunteering began when I started my first year of University. I guess it makes sense as that is the time in life when you start to grow as an individual, finding out what you truly have interest in and pursuing that path. Also, high involvement on the University of Manitoba Track and Field team encouraged me to be a mentor to others and give back to the community.
Some Past Volunteer Experience:
- English Oral Practices: Helped non-native English students reflect on their performance and learning by giving feedback and suggestions for improvement
- CANU: Created a personal connection students from Winnipeg’s inner city while participating in nutrition, education, and physical activity
- Home School Leadership: Formed a ‘running club’ for home-schooled kids along with their parents
- Canadian Cancer Society: Brought awareness and fundraised for the Canadian Cancer Society
- Captain of The University of Manitoba Track and Field Team: Demonstrated dedication, commitment & leadership to a team consisting over 100 members
- UMAC (University of Manitoba Athletic Council) Member: Dealt with issues, concerns and activities surrounding U of M sports by presenting ideas, giving input, and promoting events
- Bisons Against Bullying: Educated students on the effects of bullying through presentations and interactionsSiloam Mission: Contributed in programs and services to help individuals of Winnipeg’s less fortunate
Where do you volunteer?
Most recently and continuously for the past 7 years, I volunteer as a Track and Field Coach to High School students (Fort Richmond Collegiate, where I attended high school). I form a training program tailored for each athlete and guide them through proper technique for their specific events, primarily short sprints. Prepare them for competitions mentally and physically.
Honestly, I will volunteer at anything that comes across my path and fits into my schedule!
What was the most rewarding experience you have had while being a volunteer?
Seeing improvement and success in individuals, especially the ones that recognize their own progress. They show such great appreciation for the help and time that you have committed to them and are so thankful to have you there – it makes you feel like you are doing something right.
Have you met anyone special or been a part of anything special while volunteering?
You meet new people all the time, that is one of the best parts. I have made a lot of friends and created positive connections through volunteering, whether it is the people I am helping or the people that are helping.
What advice would you give to anyone new to volunteering in their community?
Round up some friends/family and participate together, events are always more fun when you can share the moment with others.
Volunteering can be very rewarding when you are contributing to a cause that you have a connection to or are passionate about. There is a high emphasis around volunteering to help others but what many do not realize is that you also help yourself. You learn lots, you gain a new experience and you meet a lot of a great people.
See!? Lisa is awesome!
I had no idea she was so involved with track and field, I had no idea that she had been a volunteer for such a long time, and no idea how many different things she has been involved with that revolve around volunteering. I was blown away – and that’s why I want to spread the word, so that you can get to know your co-workers better and learn about the terrific things that they’re doing for their communities.
When I asked her about being a Benevity team captain she told me the experience has been great. Her team isn’t just in Winnipeg, but spans across different offices on the west coast – but she likes to keep them motivated, and so far the feedback has been positive from her team members.
I look forward to seeing many more Ian Martin employees use Benevity to track their volunteer hours, and I encourage you to talk to people who have volunteered in the past to get an idea of how to get started – or maybe even tag along to their next event. Volunteering is rewarding on so many levels, and giving your time to help others in your community will continue to have long lasting affects to the people you have helped.
So get out there and get the conversation going!
I look forward to being the Chair of Volunteering on the Stewardship Council, and welcome your ideas and suggestions for the upcoming year.