Every now and then I talk to people who say they are bored with what they are doing but are not sure what to change in their life. That’s when I explain what I have found by volunteering in Oliver. Volunteering not only helps the community, but it enriches your own life. Working with T6B in Oliver provides so many different ways to volunteer. Depending on what you enjoy, volunteers can find their niche in gardening, helping build safe play spaces for children, cleaning up lots, working at the free farm stand, or create your own way to make an impact. I have found my niche in an area of Oliver called Holbrook.
After showing up to different T6B service projects and lending a hand wherever they needed me, I was introduced to Holbrook. At first, I met with a woman who was having trouble getting out of the house on her own. We would meet once a week and go for a short walk and talk. While we were walking, I noticed a garden on her block that was in need of some love. I talked with my younger sisters and we decided to give the garden a little TLC. We ended up working on this garden for the better part of last summer. By the end of the summer I had built relationships with many residents in Holbrook and they started helping out in the garden. On May 18th, we started working in the garden again with a small group of volunteers and community members. It was so exciting to see that we went from a garden no one cared about to having community members take ownership of this area.
People want to help and care for their community, but sometimes they just don’t know where or how to start. Showing up consistently and working for an hour or so every week, gave the community members and I time to talk and get to know one another, and together we are making a difference in their neighborhood. These relationships keep the lines of communication open for us to talk about what was going on in Oliver, what improvement they see, what they would like to see, and to share resources.
This is just one of the many ways to be involved in Oliver. Everyone has an hour to spare, so I say find out what you are passionate about and take that hour to start making a difference. For me, I found that I love listening to older people’s stories and there is always someone looking for a friend to listen to their story, help in their garden or just make their dream of riding a motorcycle come true. This is how I serve. How about you?