Originally I was going to dive right into making you all laugh. But, I decided that since this is the first blog that I should make it a little bit more meaningful. To find out more about who we are click the about us tabs.
My first blog will be about... Duff roll... about volunteering. As I believe this is what has shaped me the most and the reason why this blog is up and running.
The most common question I get from high schoolers when asking them to help a good cause is will it help my university application? So, I'm going to take a blast from the past and reflect on my experience with volunteering. It all started with the mandatory 40 hours required for a high school diploma. As someone who was scared into thinking 40 hours would take a decade to complete I volunteered in my first year of high school, grade 9. My first endeavour was with First Night Toronto, where I helped with ushering. My hours for that event were never accepted as I never got the volunteer form signed and only received a cover letter. Note to high school kids, carry the high school volunteer form with you! Anyway, during my second year, I was with the Islamic Society of Toronto, where I helped out with iftars during Ramdaan. I also, joined Junior Achievement for a brief stint. Then, I moved on to helping out the Flemingdon Health Centre and their peace garden initiative. Like most high schoolers, I was peer pressured into doing some of this for the food provided, especially for the last two. Which was grotesquely healthy at the Health Centre, I guess that's no surprise. But, slowly, I felt a change happen and seemed more concerned about what I did. Grade 11, I joined to help out with Reviving the Islamic Spirit and have been with them ever since. In grade 11, I also did cooperative education at Toronto East General Hospital and later volunteered with them in the summer. In Grade 12, through inspiration of Reviving the Islamic Spirit, I started the Muslim Students' Association in my school. It was quite unbelievable that my high school, Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute, had 2000+ Muslims, but, no MSA. It was a good year we raised money for the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy and joined the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament. Finally to top it all off, I also volunteered with Path to Piety. In my final year I was a part of 14 after school club initiatives and was able to maintain good academic merit.
And here I am, in the University of Toronto studying Physical Health and Education. This year I helped coordinate ushering at the Muslim Interscholastic Tournament. I have also, been elected to the University of Toronto Student Union.
What I wish to get at is I started with volunteering being mandatory to doing extra hours on my own to falling in love with helping the community. I was introverted and shy with new people and the thought of sharing thoughts gave me the shivers and now here you see this blog which is all about sharing thoughts. Volunteering showed me there are people who care and wish to make a difference and motivated me to join that movement. But, had you asked me to volunteer in grade 9, I would have laughed and said, "No pay, no way". In total, I have 600 hours logged, but, this is not something I showcase on my resume. My reward lies in the smiles of the people I help and with Allah.
Give a hand, pitch in, and always smile. You never know where it will take you. And I promise you, you will grow to love it. We all can always do more and never think anything is too small or too hard to do.
I promise I am a funny guy. Or maybe my friends are just too nice and laugh at what I say? But, the next blog to come will have a more humorous twist.
Till then stay strong, browse around and bookmark us or add us to your RSS feed!