Volunteering Gives Back Big Time

Get involved and give of yourself.

I am certain that most community-minded people who read Boyle McCauley News already participate in community events, and many of you volunteer in some capacity. I wanted to share my admiration for those of you out there who are doing just that, and for those who are in the pre-contemplative or contemplative stages of activating your “doing for others” muscles. I know that it takes a lot of courage and energy to pause the battle of focus and work of bettering one’s own situation, trust me. I recall when I was a starving musician/artist, and thinking, “It must be nice to have the time and luxury to do things like volunteer and explore places and people.” Naïve as I was, I didn’t realize that I had the equation all wrong.

I finally decided I would try to volunteer and get some experience and beef up my resume! Maybe I would find out if the type of job/work was for me! As it turns out, almost 20 years later, I’m working full-time in the field of social development (support/arts/rec/mental health/youth/wellbeing/empowerment).

The lesson I needed was that volunteering wasn’t something I could afford to do, but rather it was something from which I really gained. Call it “spiritual exercise.” Through helping out with a small set of tasks I was good at already, I began to see the joy and happiness in the faces of people who were facing tribulations which I could only imagine. The time spent learning about their stories, and the others who were working to help them to find a better life, showed me that what I gave to them paled in comparison to what they gave me.

So, the Annual McCauley Community Clean Up and Heart of The City volunteer positions are not just a way to give back, but a way to grow, gain, and learn – to being better connected, aware of more opportunities, and in touch with the amazing people and lives we each live.

Taro Hashimoto is the e4c Community Development Officer & Coordinator for Volunteers for Heart of the City Festival and Annual McCauley Community Clean Up. To register to volunteer, call: (780) 424-2870 email: thashimoto@e4calberta.org.

More in this issue

Neighbourhood Views

  • Here Comes the Train Again – The LRT moving along the tracks between McCauley and Boyle Street. Paula E. Kirman

  • Lovely Lavender – Some lavender for sale outside of Zocalo. Paula E. Kirman

  • Teresa Spinelli Receives Honourary Degree from NAIT – Teresa Spinelli (pictured here with her son Massimo) received an honourary Bachelor of Business Administration from NAIT on May 4, when she also gave the convocation speech. Mike Newberry

  • Noi Thai Restaurant Opens in McCauley – Noi Thai Restaurant has opened up in the former location of Viphalay at 10724 95 Street. Viphalay owner and McCauley Community League board member Lily Mounma sold this location to her uncle. Look for a review in an upcoming issue of the paper. Paula E. Kirman

  • Helping at Homeless Connect – Around 1200 people were served at Homeless Connect on April 29 at the Shaw Conference Centre. There were 69 service providers and over 300 volunteers. Homeless Connect is a partnership between Edmonton Economic Development, Homeward Trust Edmonton and the Shaw Conference Centre. Noor Al-Henedy

  • Bent Arrow Round Dance – The Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society’s Annual Round Dance took place on April 21 at the Commonwealth Rec Centre. Janis Irwin

Around the Neighbourhood

Volunteer With Us!

We are always looking for new writers and photographers, as well as ideas for future stories. We also regularly need block carriers to help with the delivery and distribution of the paper. Email Paula with your submissions, feedback, ideas, and availability. We also ask that contributors read our Editorial Guidelines and that all volunteers read and agree to our Code of Conduct.

Next Issue . . .

Our next issue is September. Articles and photos concerning community news, events, and opinions are welcome. We also encourage submissions of poetry, and cartoons (in JPG or PDF format). Deadline: August 12. Send submissions to: editor@bmcnews.org. Articles should be 400 words or less and accompanied by photographs (JPG, in high resolution) when possible.