Without a doubt volunteers have a significant and lasting impact on society, but ask any volunteer about the benefits they deliver to the causes they support and those volunteers are likely to tell you that the experience is mutually beneficial.
A 2010 Canadian survey showed that 47% of Canadians (or over 13 million of us) volunteer. In total 2 billion hours were volunteered, the equivalent of 1.1 million full time jobs. You may be surprised to learn that the largest demographic group of volunteers is aged 15-24. This young group makes up 58% of volunteers in Canada. The actions of these young people are making a huge impact in countless sectors and communities.
According to the survey on Imagine Canada’s website, Canadians state that the primary reason they volunteer is to contribute to their communities. The next two major reasons are to use skills and experience and because they have been personally affected by the cause.
At King’s-Edgehill School, community involvement through volunteer experiences is an integral part of both co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. We see the benefits of volunteering all the time!
Our students benefit from volunteering:
- by developing valuable hands on exposure to different careers, which is so useful as our students consider various career paths.
- by making connections in the community which proves valuable for work experience, references for university applications and more
- by being able to include valuable volunteer experience on their university applications. Most universities today require applicants to have volunteer experience. A look through university application requirements often has volunteering listed only second to the require GPA.
- For our international students volunteering presents many benefits – by exposing them to Canadian organizations that may be different from those at home and by giving them another opportunity to practice their English.
At King’s-Edgehill School we present many opportunities for our students to volunteer within our school and within our community. Many of our students also develop their own programs to give back to our community. Take for example our Youth-in-Action Group, consisting of students from grades seven to twelve who meet to discuss world issues and plan fundraisers. Among other activities, they champion our Stuff a Van competition. Another unique initiative was started by a group of Chinese-origin students who offer Chinese language lessons at the school. They teach simple conversations in Mandarin, Chinese alphabets and sometimes lead a cultural activity like Chinese calligraphy.
Whether our students decide to participate in a school organized volunteering program or come up with their own unique way to give back to their community, we know the experience will be valuable for the organization and to the individual volunteer in terms of giving young people much needed volunteer experience.
Interested in learning more about our volunteer programs at King’s-Edgehill School? Download our Volunteering at KES, simply click below.