Day 4 – A Cheer for Volunteers!

the number fourIt’s Day 4 of the Perfectly Reasonable Countdown!





The inspiration for Perfectly Reasonable came from working with medical students. As well as a spicy romance, this book shows Trace’s journey as he applies to medical school. For over 10 years, I was involved in teaching Clinical Skills to medical students. I asked the students what they thought was the most valuable thing they did when they applied. Most of them mentioned volunteering – and starting early to volunteer. It didn’t have to be fancy or far away, but it was important to be able to reflect on the volunteering about their ability to interact with people, empathize, and play a leadership role. So I’ve invited 4 very special people to share their stories about volunteering – 4 compelling reasons to volunteer and some great ideas if you’re wondering what’s out there to do!


welcome signMarion O’Connor ~ It was my pleasure to assist newly arrived refugee families become accustom to Canadian life. It was a very rewarding experience as I helped them with our language and accompanied them to various appointments and shopping activitiesIn return, I learned about life and the hardships they experience in their country. It certainly makes you appreciate how fortunate we are to live in Canada.



baby on bellyLin Arthur ~ I am most fortunate to have been a person who worked in an area about which I am passionate – I loved working with families, multiply disabled children (particularly infants), teaching physiotherapy students, and being a member of a multidisciplinary team. Retiring has been great but it also feels like I’ve left a part of myself behind. By being a mentor and sharing my experiences and perspectives with newly graduated, gifted physiotherapists who chose pediatrics, I felt that I could participate in shaping the future of the profession through influencing their practice and offer a point of view other than what’s offered in the classroom setting. In return, they helped bring me up to speed on the current fields of thought, technology, and measurable outcomes. We created a healthy exchange as we brainstormed over complex patients! I really enjoyed it, and I think the patients benefited from the art of the old and the science of the new!


P1030596Anne Richards ~ So why do I volunteer? I have been most fortunate to have travelled to many interesting places. I’ve seen poverty and the struggles of people just trying to carve out a life. I always felt blessed to live in a county with so many freedoms and privileges . . . as my Dad used to say when I was growing up “Giving back is the rent you pay for the space you occupy.”

I have always chosen interesting ways to volunteer. I have taught English to immigrants from Vietnam, started a Grandmother group here in Kingston to support Grandmothers in Africa who are raising their orphan grandchildren with very few resources after their children died of HIV-AIDS, helped Aboriginal kids with reading, taught them to play the piano or to weave. I’ve always been interested in helping single mothers continue with their post-secondary education. There are so many wonderful ways to make the life of someone else just a little bit better. You truly gain much more than you give!!


soccer ballTammy Scott-Zelt ~ I’ve been volunteering with the Kingston Clippers Soccer Club for 18 years. My role as a volunteer included coaching players from U7 house league to a men’s competitive team, spending 16 years on the board of governance, and lending a happy hand in many other tasks involved in keeping a soccer club successful. Over my 18 years volunteering, I’ve made many lifelong friends whom I never would’ve crossed paths with otherwise. The Kingston Clippers has grown from 1200 to 2000 players over the last 20 years, and I feel that my hard work as a volunteer on the board contributed to the club’s success. Seeing little or big accomplishments is very fulfilling. Coaching children and seeing them grow to young adults and make their own path in life is the best feeling, because I feel like I was a part of helping them reach their goals. Spending six hours a week or sometimes an entire weekend with players allowed me to guide them and hopefully be a good role model – as a coach and to encourage them to volunteer when they become parents! Yes, volunteering takes time away from family and chores, but organizations would never survive unless community volunteers stepped forward to help. I also feel volunteering showed my children how to be better at organizing and juggling time management.

If you’re looking to meet new friends, figure out what you’re passion about, or even if you’re not sure what you have to offer, contact the organization and offer to help. Trust me, all organizations are desperately looking for volunteers and they’ll be thrilled to see a new face. Volunteering is something I love to do. I’ll continue to volunteer in my community because without my help, community organizations might not be able to survive.

Watch Tammy live


There you have it – 4 compelling stories about volunteering. It’s truly inspiring and very rewarding to volunteer! From helping out at a food bank or soup kitchen, reading with elementary students, playing piano for the elderly, there are so many opportunities to give back, enrich the lives of others, and learn something about yourself. So get out there and volunteer!!

It’s getting close – only 3 days left until the release of Perfectly Reasonable! (I’m getting excited!!) Come back tomorrow – I’ll answer the 3 most common questions I’m asked.