Why do you volunteer?

In September, hubby and I formally joined the board of directors of our local MADD Canada chapter; the MADD Canada Greater Fredericton Chapter. We are really excited to get involved and give back to an organization that has done so much for us. We are enthused to become even more proactive in the fight against impaired driving in our own backyard and nationally. Not to mention, offering much needed, personal support to those in our community who have been impacted by this terrible crime.

For us, we really kick this new volunteering adventure off this weekend. We are jet setting to Toronto, Ontario this morning to join hundreds of other chapter members, community leaders, volunteers, sponsors and MADD Canada staff for MADD Canada’s Annual General Meeting and National Chapter Leadership Conference. How uberlicious is that?!

The weekend theme is “People, Purpose, Passion: The Pathway to Success”. Starting this afternoon straight through until Sunday, hubby and I will be connecting, networking, listening and learning. During the days, it’ll be all about networking and learning with workshops on everything from new legislation, championing a chapter, fundraising, media, and so much more. This evening we will attend a sponsor recognition dinner which is totally groovy. MADD Canada sponsors, as you’ve read in a recent post I did about KIA Canada, go above and beyond so to be able to offer some form of personal gratitude will be super special for us. Saturday night we will attend MADD Canada’s annual Awards Dinner where the organization recognizes the outstanding contributions of its volunteers with national and regional awards. I’m going to clap so much and so hard, my hands are going to be numb. Sunday, we’ll come back home to our chapter chalked full of new information and ideas to rock our community.

On the horizon, we are working with our chapter to host an open house to recruit new volunteers and members (if you are from the greater Fredericton area reading this and want more deets, let me know) on November 3, 2012. After the open house, we will host a beautiful and poignant candlelight vigil to honor those who have been impacted by impaired driving in our community. I am so thrilled to be involved in putting something like together. Pray for a great turn out for us.

That’s not all…Hubby and I also recently completed MADD Canada’s Victim Service Volunteer Level I training with a gold standing. Yeahhhh hubby and me! This was the foundation training required so that we can attend the level II training in mid-November. Once we successfully complete level II, both he and I will be certified Victim Services Volunteers (VSV). This means we will be able to offer more in-depth support to victims of impaired driving in our community.

What an incredible feeling to be able to give back in the same way that helped us heal and feel supported. I think that may be the little secret about volunteering that some people don’t know. In volunteering, yes you give of your time and energy for “free” for the good and benefit of your community, an organization, or person. But the gifts of self-esteem, pride and connection you receive in return far supersede any monetary return. The honor to volunteer and giving back to your community is a privilege.

Today, I leave you with a video PSA from arrive alive DRIVE SOBER® that rocked my world! It features Spenny from Kenny vs. Spenny.

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How do you give back in your community? What kind of volunteering do you do? What do you get out of volunteering and why do you think it’s important? Wanna give props to a volunteer who rocks your world – tell me your story! Come on…share the wealth…

On August 1, 2009, my beautiful mother-in-law’s life was cut tragically short by an impaired driver and my stepson’s life changed forever. In honor of Donna and Jordan Kennie, please don’t drink and drive. Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Think about it.

Support MADD Canada and follow them on Facebook, Twitter (@maddcanada), YouTube, and on the Web.

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Comments

  1. SKA-WEEEE! for you and Blog Heckler Hubby on your adventure with like-minded volunteers who want to make a difference, save lives, and assist victims.

    I can’t wait until next week, when I’m sure you’ll have super-charged details about your experience.

    Compared to you, I feel like a slug in the volunteer arena. Yes, I give back to my AA group through service work, meeting with newbies, and taking calls when someone needs me. And, I give back to my church by volunteering to make and roll breakfast burritos (Holy Roller duty).

    But, your commitment and reach far exceeds mine. KUDOS!

    • It’s been a whirlwind of fun this past weekend! So much learned and so much inspiration and enthusiasm.

      Girl, never feel like a slug. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It’s about giving whatever it is you can give…when you can…I think what you do makes a huge difference in your community and that…ROCKS! Keep up the great work….

  2. Your dedication to this cause is more than admirable, Natalie! Next Saturday, I’ll be walking again in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for breast cancer. My mom is a survivor, and my grandmother and best friend died from breast cancer, so this is a cause close to my heart. Blessings for your charitable work! You’re making a difference.

    • Wow Julie. What an incredible story. You’ve definitely had your life touched and it’s wonderful that you have an outlet to give back and show support in such a passionate way. Good luck on your walk….we are all making a difference in our unique ways. 🙂 Blessings!

  3. What a wonderful thing you are both doing! Losing yourself for others is a great way to find yourself. Our family cause is Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. One of my daughter’s is doing big fund raiser and run for them. In fact, on her FB page, she posted pictures of the burns she got making empanadas to sell. She is also being sworn in today as a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Child Advocate). So proud of her. Great minds think alike. I have a blog post scheduled in Oct about how to give service. 🙂

    • You are so right Pauline – there is something very healing about giving back to others. Your cause is one that I know is close to so many others. And it’s amazing that you’ve been such a role model that now your daughter is instilled with a social responsibility herself. Love it. And getting involved in CASA – how fantastic. I can only imagine the pride you feel….here’s to both of you!!!
      GREAT minds for sure. woot woot! 🙂

  4. Good stuff Nat!! You will make a positive difference in so many lives. Life changing!!! I admire you.

  5. I think you hit the nail on the head , Natalie. Most people volunteer to feel good, whether they realize it or not. Volunteering has also been shown to fend off depression and boost immume function and longevity. Hello! Sign me up! 😉 Another thing that lures people in? Free food. And personal stories, which you’re prima at sharing. Hope all goes well!

  6. Karen McFarland says:

    A big cheer for you and hubby. I think nothing makes you feel better deep inside about yourself than helping others. I think it’s the way we’re hardwired. It’s selfless compassion. When we open our hearts to others in need, it’s one of the greatest gifts we can give.You guys seriously rock! 🙂

    • Amen to that Karen!!! Absolutely true. I do think we are hardwired that way and opening our hearts to others is a gift both to the people we give to and to ourselves…all kinds of fabulousness!

  7. GOOD – FOR – YOU – GUYS!!! That is awesome! I know that you will touch someone’s life. You have that amazing personality that will attract those who need what you have to offer.

    I have volunteered for many things in the past. I served as the secretary and programs director for my local legal professionals’ association, I am currently the VP Programs for my local writing group, I have been box office help at our local community theater, and ushered for several live programs in the area. I usually do something because I feel like I’m a bigger part of something I already enjoy. It makes things more real for me. I get a greater appreciation for what others do and have done behind the scenes.

    I hope this new venture works out for you and your hubs. Kudos to both of you. Hugs!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Wow Jansen – you are a force! I love it. Kudos to you. I think you are right as well, when people think about volunteering, it’s great to tap into your areas of interest. Your additional involvement in something will only expand the fun and enjoyment…woot woot!!!

      HUGS back to you…and keep us posted on your ventures!

  8. Hey Natalie, glad to hear you’re getting so much out of volunteering. I volunteer at my kids’ school but used to do a lot more of it, including serving as board president while also working full-time and teaching, and I wrote an article about how you can actually volunteer even if you’re crazy busy.

    • Fahhhhbulous Annette – love how you got involved and the article is an amazing resource. With everything on my plate, I’m going to print it off as a resource. 🙂 I also think no matter how busy a person is, you can always afford to give back. Even if it’s only an hour a week…it doesn’t have to be huge or overwhelming…even the smallest of gesture can make a huge difference…especially if we all pitch in! 🙂

  9. Wonderful, wonderful. There’s nothing as important as giving back. And, as it was said before, nothing feels as good as seeing positive change that we’ve directly impacted. Having served on numerous boards, both at the state and national level I well know the time involved–but it comes back to us in many different ways.

  10. What a great cause to be involved in, Natalie! I volunteer at my daughters’ schools as much as possible. It’s so important to help schools with events, programs, and other activities. I get the added benefit of meeting the other students, so I know who my girls know.

    One of my older daughter’s childhood friends is working on her Girl Scout Gold award, so we are volunteering our Saturdays to tutor kindergarteners. It’s impressive how much work she’s put into the project.

    • Amazing Diana. And in volunteering in the schools, you are an incredible role model for them and their parents…I love that. No to mention it keeps you entrenched and involved in your kids’ lives and that is a beautiful thing.
      I hope the Girl Scout Gold award work went smoothly. Kids today are so impressive with your dedication and work ethic. Beautiful!

  11. So glad you liked my blog post! Bless you for sharing it 🙂
    With love and gratitude
    Lissa

  12. Natalie, the commitment of you and the Hubster goes way above and beyond the norm and we all respect you for that. MADD is fortunate to have the two of you in their corner! The only bad news about this is that I have been off social media for the past week and am SO behind, it’s scary! I just read your post now and didn’t see your earlier comment on my blog so I had no idea you were in Toronto on the weekend. I’m so sorry. I’m sure you were busy but we could have squeezed in a partay moment or two somewhere. Next year!!!!

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