Volunteering and the Heart of Community

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in. – Unknown

I like to think that of community as a plant and volunteering as the water that allows that plant to grow and flourish.

I have volunteered to repair a coral reef in the Bahamas. I have cooked for the Tonkin Curling Club and the Flatland Gamers Association. I have designed work for Friends on the Outside, a group that works with newly released inmates.I have spent spent many hours in support of breast cancer and ALS in honor of friends who have passed on. I was president of the Shutterbugs Photography Club for a year.

As a volunteer photographer, one of the biggest reasons I volunteer is the amazing places I can go as a volunteer. I was on the field with all the athletes during the closing ceremonies of the Canada Summer Games. I was on stage with Great Big Sea at the Grey Cup, photographing the audience. I have been on the marshalling boats during Dragon Boat Festival. I was one of the actors in the first Tattoo when the Musical Ride was part of it. During the North American Indigenous Games this summer, I was out on track shooting. As just a spectator, I could never get this close to the action.

Sometimes, I volunteer because of the opportunities it presents me. Other times, I volunteer because someone asks me to help out. Often I volunteer because I believe in the cause. But, I ALWAYS volunteer because I care. Prairie Spruce cohousers volunteer at an amazing number of different organizations. It’s heartwarming to know you’re surrounded by other caring individuals and families who volunteer their time to make this world a better place. I’m looking forward to living with them at Prairie Spruce Commons.

Joanne