Canada 150 and the Joy of Volunteering

1 July 2017
[:en]How would you describe to someone a Canadian beyond the stereotypes? Compassionate? Altruistic? Resilient?

As we prepare to celebrate our nations 150th birthday, it is important to reflect on what these 150 years have established. Here at Mercy Ships Canada, we are proud to feel like traits, such as compassion and resilience represent Canadians at large. We take pride in having a national identity established through fundamental moral characteristics as helpfulness, charity, kindness, and openness, lending ourselves to those who need it most.

Volunteering is one the best manifestations of these characteristics.  It is the ultimate acts of selflessness and has both great personal and societal benefits.

Volunteering is Healthy! 

People often will find, according to Forbes, they develop a healthier mindset and physical functions. It also helps build your experience and happiness in the long term. Although challenging at times the work can be rewarding, as discovered by our volunteers. We often find their experience aboard will a lasting impression on them. Often, they leave inspired by the capacity and dedication of the other volunteers, feeling rejuvenated by the work of others.

Today on Canada’s 150th birthday, it is important to look at the act of volunteering. Take the time out of your busy life to help at a local Canada 150 event, even organize one if you cannot find an event within your community. However, if you do not have the time or resources, consider going out and exploring Canada’s majestic national parks, heritage and historical sites and enjoy the rich 150 years of history.

It is also important to reflect on one’s contribution to community at large, and to think about if you yourself have developed these competencies. Have you felt you have made your contribution? If not, it is not too late. Remember, you journey is not finished yet!

Michael Tessier, Mercy Ships Canada Volunteer Recruitment Project Coordinator