5 MYTHS ABOUT VOLUNTEERS AND VOLUNTEERING

Today, I would like to discuss 5 of the most common myths pertaining to volunteers and volunteering.

  1. Myth – Being a volunteer will allow you to change your world over night: Nothing can be done overnight! Just think of those last minute papers you have written the night before they were due. Changing the world as a volunteer is no different. However, though there are many steps that have to be completed before anyone can make a difference in the world, I do believe it to be a possible goal and I do encourage you pursue with your plans.

Fact: Volunteering is bound to teach you many things about life. In the long run, being a volunteer will not only make a difference in the lives of others it will also definitely change your world.

  1. Myth – Every volunteering opportunity will touch your heart: Volunteering is making a difference for others without the receiving of payment in return to improve one’s community. Therefore, some volunteer opportunities include doing community activities that are more common and will touch you less on an emotional level.

Fact: You are bound to run into at least a few heartwarming or heart breaking stories throughout your career as a volunteer. These stories can inspire you and help you grow which explains why you should keep them close to your heart.

  1. Myth – My work is insignificant: Although we cannot change the world overnight, we do make a very big difference when we volunteer. Every minute we spend helping out as a volunteer, our work impacts the organization, its clients and society.

Fact: When you are out volunteering, remember that whatever they assign you to do, it is of utter most importance as that task is crucial to the functioning of the organizations. Which is the first step in changing the world and why you should get involved in volunteering in the first place.

  1. Myth – Volunteering = safe : Although most non for profit organisations are created to ensure the safety of everyone involved, it is important that future volunteers research the dangers linked to the volunteering opportunity. When you understand what kind of situation you are getting yourself into, you will be able to (1) find alternatives that work best with your situation or (2) implement strategies to make the volunteer opportunity a safe one for yourself.

Fact: Volunteering opportunities are great ways to get out into your community to land a helping hand. Though street smarts are a must, organizations that accept volunteers attempt to make the volunteering environment as safe and secure as possible.

  1. Myth – Volunteering = opportunities for myself: Although some opportunities do present themselves through our volunteer work, it is no reason to volunteer at an organization. In fact, though it is possible for you to find advancements through volunteering, if you volunteer for the wrong reasons, it will be perceived by others easily and will reflect on the outcome.

Fact: When you decide to volunteer, do it to help others, not only yourself. Organizations and those who benefit from them will appreciate you dedicating your time for the right reasons.

Please comment bellow if you feel you have any other myths you believe deserve to be clarified and verified.

Thank you for taking time to read this post, I hope you did enjoy!

Gabrielle

SPOTTED : GOOD IN THE WORLD

SPOTTED HEADER

TRANSLATION SERVICES 

Living in the capital of a bilingual and multicultural country, Ottawa, Canada, you encounter many individuals who only speak one language. Often, this language is not the one the majority of the population speaks which creates language barriers.  Language barriers can be a source of conflict and tension when individuals are faced with certain situations which in turn will create unnecessary stress on all parties and further divide the groups implicated.

In fact, as communication is a key component of life and society, when individuals cannot efficiently communicate, the situation may require a third party to intervene. It was not long ago that a situation arose where such help was needed. It was in a department store when a lady paying for her purchases was having troubles completing her transaction. The words and numbers on the debit machine were too small for her to see. The cashier, who only spoke English, could not help her read what was said in French on the machine.

While the line at the cash was slowing increasing in size, the patience of other customers was growing thinner with every passing moment. It was not until another costumer came forward to read the screen for the customer and translate between the English worker and the French customer that things were able to move along.

Now, this may not seem to be a big deal. It did not change the world. It probably did not even make a difference on the onlookers at the store. It did however help the parties involved. It probably made their day a little less stressful that someone was able to stand up and help complete the store transaction.

In this multicultural world, it is important to learn to help one another. It is also important to understand that everyone experiences different challenges in life. Sometimes you only need a little help to get through the day. Be the one to offer it.

YOUNG PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD – INTERVIEW WITH A YOUNG VOLUNTEER

Valérie and I

It is important to understand that there are many people who are already making a difference in the world. A great number of these individuals are in fact young people. You know, those who are said to be lazy and irresponsible. This next interview will in fact prove to you the power and good sense to the young people of the world. Valérie, one of my very best friends, is one of these talented people who have the power to change the world and who uses it for the good of others. When reading her interview, you will get a sense that this young woman is quite incredible. I do hope that her story and her opinion sheds a light on the powers of the younger generation when wanting to change the world.

Tell us a bit about yourself. This should be the easiest question to answer, but somehow I’m having a hard time figuring out how to describe myself! First off, my name’s Valérie and I’m nineteen years old. As you can probably already tell, I’m francophone, more specifically Franco-Ontarian, and this is something very important to me that I am extremely proud of. I’m currently studying Health Sciences (in French) at the University of Ottawa, and being from a small town, I’m loving the big city life! After my Bachelor’s degree, I’m hoping to pursue a Master’s in occupational therapy. I really enjoy theatre, the outdoors, watching Netflix (who doesn’t) and of course, volunteering! I would also say another pastime of mine is sleeping… Sleep is a beautiful thing!

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IF I HAD 100$…

moneyTruth is, you do not need millions of dollars to change the world. In fact, you can make a big difference in the world with no money at all. However, money does give you the chance to help in new or different ways. Imagine you had 100$ to spare at the end of the month… Here are suggestions of how to use any amount of money to give back to your community : Continue reading

WE ARE ALL HUMAN

Life and its many obligations consume our time. In fact, there is not one single moment in your day where you do not act with the purpose of fulfilling one of these obligations. When you take a moment to think about all that you are obliged to do or think of during a day, it is easy to realize that you are trying to be A superhuman. However, since we do not have the super powers required to do it all, mistakes sometimes find their way into your life.

Mistakes have always seemed to have the power to unbalance me. They are often capable of turning my days around. However, they only have that power because I allow them to. In fact, I have only recently acknowledged that mistakes are only human. Everyone make mistakes.

Nevertheless, it is not easy to acknowledge this fact and cut yourself some slack when you have only just done something wrong. I will therefore share the steps I take when I make a mistake.

First, I need to calm myself and refocus on the task/mistake at hand. I have always disliked making mistakes (as do most people) which allows anxiety, guilt and other negative feelings to overpower the calm and collected ones. In a situation where I have made a mistake, I therefore need to breathe deeply, take a minute to relax and finally assure that I can productively get back to what needs to be fixed.

Also, acknowledgement is necessary to allow myself to take full responsibility of my part in the mistake. Owning up to your mistake will allow you to fix it and redeem yourself. In fact, when you take responsibility for a mistake you have made, others will be more likely to forgive and forget. Their trust in you, will stay intact as they will learn that you can acknowledge your mistakes and fix them with efficiency.

Next, fix your mistake! If this was not clear, you cannot let a mistake pass you by unfixed. This will come back in grander ways that will cause even greater turbulence in your life. 

Lastly, making a mistake does not mean that you are a less worthy, it only means that you had something to learn. Mistakes are not fun to make, this can be agreed upon. However, as to avoid letting your mistakes consume your life, it is crucial that you come out of the situation with a lesson learned. Imprint this new lesson in your brain as to never do it again and then move on as there is nothing you can do to undo the mistake. The only sane option you have is to let it go and move on with your life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, I hope you did enjoy!

Gabrielle