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HORIZONS Volunteer Challenge 2008 - East

Jordan Chafe

Actvity: THINKfast!, a 25hour famine in conjunction with Development and Peace

As my grade 10 challenge I decided to become involved with a new group, one I knew very little about. Our church was looking for youth within our parish to organize THINKfast!, a 25hour famine in conjunction with Development and Peace. Our goal was to raise awareness, raise money for the global south, defend human rights, make peace, care for the earth and have fun. This event was held at the Petty Harbour/Maddox Cove Recreation Center, hosted by the youth of St.Joseph's Parish. Through the month of February our group(4 teenagers) collected donations for the THINKfast in our community. We met weekly to plan the agenda for the 25 hour event. The youth of neighboring parishes were invited to this event, as well as a general invitation to all who wanted to be involved. All together we had approximately 24 people take part.

During our 25 hour fast we kept ourselves busy with discussion groups and educational activities all pertaining to the global south.

How is this group / activity valuable to its community and our society?

This activity was valuable in our community because in raising awareness about the global south we sparked an interest among our town to come together and raise funds for this project. It's important for a small group like ours to start somewhere in making a difference globally.

What skills were helpful in your work?

In planning and running THINKfast!, leadership skills needed to be present. Prior experience in leadership events and workshops were very useful.

Did you refine existing skills or develop new ones?

Through this event, I was able to develop at least one new skill which was working directly with adults. In planning previous events, adults were always there supervising or on seperate committees, but for THINKfast!, we were working hands on together as one committee.

How might you apply these newly discovered skills in other situations?

The new skill of working with adults, will be very helpful in other opportunities I will be faced with in the future. Working with an older age group offers a different level of maturity, experience and point of vue.

What are your long-term goals? How does this experience connect to your long-term goals?

My long-term goals at this point are the guidance or social work field. I feel this type of event gave me opportunities to work in a group dealing with social injustices and trying to find resolutions to everyday life problems.

Describe what you consider to be an “ideal citizen” of your community. What qualities do they possess?

The ideal citizen of my community is someone who wants to do as much as they possibly can to make a diffference. The greatest values and qualities are usually selflessness, and that they do what they do because they want to, not because they are asked to. These people are usually the ones who are not always seen the most, but who are doing the most. These people are usually the ones who have the least amount of free time to begin with, but are always there giving their all. It's people like this that make a community complete.

Nadine Kelly

There are a few activities that take up a lot of my time through volunteering. Between cadets, Church and school there is not much time left in a day. I am heavily involved in the music program at Baccalieu Collegiate. Between volunteering as a group member and helping out with anything else that needs to be done, almost everyday something “musical” is happening.

I am involved in the schools concert choir, chamber choir, jazz band and hand chimes ensemble. These alone take up a good part of my week. Giving up lunch times and afternoons is a regular occurrence, and when conflicts with other activities happen, music usually wins. The concert choir involves a large number of students from all over the school catchment area. Choir helps everyone to work together and unites us as a community. Being involved in the choir since grade 7 helps me realize that even though people are different, when we all come together to work as one we blend. Not only musically but personally. Those who are veterans to the choir help those who have just joined feel at home. The smallest voice matters just as much as the biggest.

When the music groups put off concerts and assembles it raises school spirit and the spirit of the communities brought together. When concerts get in motion I readily volunteer beyond the usual demands of choir and band. I’m busy getting things ready wether it means helping design the sets or painting them, I’m always volunteering my time. For our Baccalieu Idol this year I volunteered to be in the band, I had to learn two songs in two days, but it was fun. I spent a full day doing the programs, designing posters and making the big cheque that each winner looks forward to getting. Even though it takes up so much time, its always worth it in the end.

Through these groups I learned the skill necessary for life, how to work with others. When you were little what your Mom always used to say about sharing and to play nice with others is still important. I get to share my knowledge with those younger then me and vice versa. For a choir to sound good all the voices need to sound as one, everyone needs to work together to reach the balance needed. This holds true not only in choir but in everyday life. If you don’t know when to give and when to hold back, things aren’t going to work. People need to know how to work together to get things done. Working as a group is easier said then done. Yet it is an important skill necessary for accomplishing tasks and just getting along with others.

Going on to post-secondary education is very important to me, although studying what is still unclear, but I know that the skills I have learned through volunteering with the music program will follow me. Knowing that people can depend on me and that I will accomplish the task at hand is satisfying. It means that you are reliable and hard working. Working successfully with others is needed in order to fulfill many of the tasks that I am determined to undertake. What I learn now will never be forgotten, and always put to good use.

Concerned, caring, determined, idealistic all explain someone who I consider to be an “ideal citizen”. Someone who is involved with whatever they can be involved in and who is determined to finish what, they start. Someone who always wants to do the best they can. Someone who cares about others and about what others want. This person realizes that “It’s not all about me”. They are concerned about the welfare of others and the community. All these values are held and respected by an “ideal citizen”.

Through volunteering with the music program at Baccalieu Collegiate I get the satisfaction of knowing that I have helped someone else out. Staying involved in music is important to me, so while helping others I am enjoying myself. If I help just one person realize their love for music or for helping out then I would be happy. It’s about the music, helping others, and developing community spirit.

Heather Morgan

1. Location: Heritage United Church, Musgravetown

2. Activity: Helped lead the youth group in different activities.

3. Description (300 words or less): Every Tuesday, there is a youth group meeting in my church. I am involved in this group by leading the musical part of the group and by helping out with the sports activities that we do. I met with my minister at the beginning of the year and we planned out our sessions and what we would try to teach.

4. How is this group/activity valuable to its community and our society?

This group helps kids grow and learn valuable lessons. At every meeting, we have an activity to teach the kids a life lesson and they have a lot of fun doing it.

5. What skills were helpful in your work? Did you refine existing skills or develop new ones? How might you apply these newly discovered skills in other situations?

In my work, I had to use my leadership skills. It is sometimes hard to teach the kids anything if they do not listen to you. As a leader, I have to take charge and help the meetings run smoothly.

6. What are your long-term goals? How does this experience connect to your long-term goals?

My long-term goal is to live in a community where I can help others and even lead others to make a better place for everyone to live.

7. Describe what you consider to be an “ideal citizen” of your community. What qualities do they possess? What values do they hold? Are they involved in the community? An ideal citizen leads and helps the children of any age grow. An ideal citizen does not wait for something to happen but does that activity or starts the activity with no hesitation. Ideal citizens help lead their community to be better and with the help of others, makes a great community.

Brittany Whiffen

My name is Brittany Whiffen, and I am actively involved in my community. I take part in many volunteer activities on a day to day basis. I am an alter server, a member of the Royal Army Cadet Corp, I do peer tutoring, in many groups around my school, and help seniors around my community.

I am an alter server at Sacred Heart Parish in Placentia. There, I assist the priest in whatever needs to be accomplished. I help him during church, before church in the preparations, and after church for the clean up.

As a member of the Royal Army Cadet Corp, there are many volunteer activities that we participate in as a group. We help in celebrations for many accasions, and help in keeping our community clean.

I participate in peer tutoring, this is to help other students learn in a different setting than classroom. I do tutoring for tution, and this besides, as well.

In my school, many different groups are created my students and run with the supervision of our teachers. I am involved in Army of Pink, writing for our schools page in the newspaper, the Choir, and Student Council.

I came to find a few years ago, that there are seniors in my community, that need help, but do not like asking for it. I go visit them, and help them in any way I can. I feel that I make their days brighter, and help them out alot.

With all these volunteer activities, I learn how to interact with others, in many different situations. I also, learn how to step up and become the one everyone goes to for help. I feel I put a lot of volunteering into my community and that it does pay off, for both me and the people I help.

Stephanie Eveleigh

Location: Grand Bank United Church

Activity: Volunteering with the Mime Troop “Angels Hands of Praise”

Recently I have been volunteering with the local United Church mime troop in my community. This mime troop is both a vocal and theatrical/dramatic performing group, which performs in church services at local churches, and various shows within the community and neighboring communities. In volunteering with this group I am an instructor, advising and helping younger children, ages six to 12. I help in creating new acts and shows for the children to perform, then teaching the children the actions, songs, etc. I also preformed with the group at these functions aiding the other performers along the way. I have been volunteering with this group for the past 2 years and have very much enjoyed the experience and the skills I developed throughout volunteering. I love working with children and performing so volunteering with a adolescent performing group is the perfect opportunity.

This group is highly valuable to its community and society, because by younger children partaking in this group they are learning essential skills which they can carry throughout life. Also, this group helps in setting This group teaches discipline while having fun, and allows the children to express their creativity in ways they otherwise may not have experienced. Within my time volunteering with this group I have been fortunate enough to observe the development of these children and their growth, in both creativity and social skills, which has been tremendous.

In volunteering with this group I was required to use a broad array of skills, both pre-existing and newly learned. These skills include; knowing how to handle large groups of children in younger age groups; obtaining the patients to deal with various situations within the group; the ability to create new performances that are easy for younger children to perform and appropriate for audiences of all ages. Although I did obtain some new skills in volunteering with this group, I did refine my pre-existing skills, such as developing a more creative outlook and working on having the patients to work with a large group of younger children.

My long term goals include receiving a degree in medicine and possibly becoming an Orthopedic surgeon.

This experience in volunteering with the junior mime troop is very beneficial towards my future goals. Since I plan on having a career that involves interacting and working with children, this experience has given me a taste of what working with children is all about, along with the many struggles and hard work that is involved in working with such a young age group.

In my personal opinion, an “ideal citizen” is someone who has greatly contributed to their community in a number of ways. They should be a leader, stand for what they believe in and do all that they can to help their community. Volunteering plays a large part in being an ideal citizen. Volunteers are a vital part of a community and are a key component in the foundation of a community, as they give up their free time, and dedicate it towards improving their community. An ideal citizen must hold strong values and morals, due to the fact that they cannot be selfish, but must rise above the crowd and take charge. Fitting the idea of an ideal citizen may be difficult, but I’m most certain that we could all achieve this ranking in our society if we simple try and use our time more wisely. Small steps lead to greatness!

Laura Critchley

Location- Sandringham, NL
Activity- Assisting the local Pathfinder unit

Description- Girl Guides has always been popular among the age 5-12 girls in my area but never any older than that. In the past couple of years we got some older girls to also join creating the first Pathfinder group in our area in over 10 years. Now there are two Pathfinders, leaders, and a Jr. Leader (me). Once a week the members meet in Sandringham for lots of fun doing crafts, planning outings and lots of other things. Unfortunately, there are no younger girls enrolled in guiding, which is something I plan to work towards changing.

1) How is this group/activity valuable to its community and our society?

Guiding helps to give girls an experience they may not otherwise get. They get an opportunity to build social skills and interact in a non-judgemental environment. Although in a small town like this they know each other already, they get to know each other better and get to meet new people via inter-unit/provincial camps and through and trips the unit may make.

2) What skills were helpful in your work? Did you refine existing skills or develop new ones? How might you apply these newly discovered skills in other situations?

By helping this group I really refined my communication and leadership skills. I got (and continue to get on a weekly basis) stronger communication skills by talking to and making friends with the girls in the unit, while still being their leader and advising the, however possible.

3) What are your long-term goals? How does this experience connect to your long-term goals?

My long-term goal is to become an english as a second language teacher. This experience connects to my goal because it helps me learn to communicate well with others and teach them new things without being bossy or mean. Those are qualities that I think are good in a teacher.

4) Describe what you consider to be an “ideal citizen” of your community. What qualities do they possess? What values do they hold? Are they involved in the community?

An ideal citizen is someone who helps whenever they can. They are not worried about themselves as much as those in the community around them. They hold everyone else over themselves and help them when possible. They are non-judgemental and accept that it takes all kinds of people and embrace that fact.