Inspired by Betty Londergan's What Gives 365 and the Bible (not necessarily in that order!), I'm giving away $250 a week in 2011.

This is where I'm recording that journey, and I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Guelph Wellington Volunteer Centre

Happy new year! Does it feel like that at your house? It's back to school week here -- one of our favourites of the year, complete with excitement, drama, anticipation, germs, grumbling, bickering, storytelling and 'Mommy homework.'

It's also local week at Just Giving It. This week's donation is going to the Guelph Wellington Volunteer Centre, which is marking its 10th anniversary this year. I love the Volunteer Centre for lots of reasons -- the people that work there are terrific, they invest in leadership development, they take broad view of what volunteering means, and they encourage people to make our community better. Just under 70% of people in this community volunteer their time, leading to the designation as 'Canada's Most Caring Community.'

But today, the reason they came to mind was because they make it easier for young people to get involved. In Ontario, teens need 40 hours of community service to graduate from high school. At my daughter's school, that number is 150 hours. And just like with other kinds of giving, it's not always straightforward to find ways to give back that are well suited to your skills and interests. I have referred friends, clients and my own daughters to the Volunteer Centre's database of student volunteer opportunities. It's a treasure trove of ideas, (who knew you could run monthly birthday parties for seniors?!) and it provides a service that is useful to local organizations as well as to students and their parents.

So as we kick off a new school year, I'm thankful for such an active and effective Volunteer Centre -- it's one more thing that makes Guelph one of Canada's most livable city. What makes your town great?

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