The mandate for United Way is something that I want to see for my community. And, if I don't support it, then I can’t say that. You have to support something if you want to see the changes that you're stating that you're going to make.
Through all the educational pieces that we have at work, I learned everything that United Way does and trying to end poverty is something that I can really get behind, so I wanted to give support.
I love creating the events that we do at work, like getting discovery speakers coming in and hearing their stories. Watching the staff that are there really be impacted by those presentations is just so moving for me and I really enjoy that.
One impact speaker we had last year was so motivating and you're watching everybody in the room who’s like “Why wouldn’t I support causes like this?” When you see individuals as great as him and he’s giving back to the community as well and teaching others who are blind or legally blind that they’re not defined by their disability, but by their abilities is just pretty amazing to me.
You learn about people in our community, this is the situation that they’re in and that’s really unfortunate. But we need to do things that change that and obviously lift them out of poverty.
However, it’s rewarding for me as well. We’re part of the corporate mentorship program with Big Brothers, Big Sisters; and I'm a mentor there. It’s really easy for me to take an hour out of my workday to volunteer with these kids. But I feel like the monetary contribution is more because I don't necessarily have a ton of time beyond that, beyond what I do within the campaign, mentoring Big Brothers, Big Sisters and doing things here and there. It’s finding a balance in how I can help personally, with a little bit of my time and a little bit of my money.
When you're volunteering, you're going it for yourself too. You feel good after you go and volunteer. Sometimes I think “I’d love to take an hour to myself at lunch today, but I have mentoring.” Then I go to mentoring and I’m like “Why would I ever think that? I had fun today, I got to hang out with these kids that are full of energy”. Then I go back to work, and I think “That was awesome.”
I think it’s so funny that even being involved in it just fell in my lap in a way and I'm thankful that I get to be a part of the United Way campaign every year in various capacities. I love it. I really do. I love being a part of it.
I love Edmonton, I want to live here for the rest of my life, probably. So I want the community to be a better place.