In a recent survey conducted by American Express Canada, results showed that a growing number of Canadians — more than a quarter — are seeking ways to enrich their lives through engaging in activities that make a difference in their lives.

 

One way that many Canadians choose to enrich their lives is through charity work. In honour of National Volunteer Month, here are a couple of tips to help you realize your potential through volunteerism:

 

• You need to care:
Find a volunteer position for a cause or an organization that you truly care about. You’re not getting paid to do this, so make sure it's something you’re passionate about so that you enjoy your time spent volunteering, and, perhaps even more importantly, you stick with it.

 

For Toronto’s Margaret Bedi, the death of her mother made her realize she wanted to devote time to the terminally ill by providing emotional support and comfort, so she began to volunteer at the Victoria Order of Nurses Hospice.

 

“I find it to be a very fulfilling and rewarding experience to be part of the lives of some amazing people who live with terminal illnesses,” she said. “It makes me realize how precious life is and how little time we have to live, laugh, and love.”


• Bring some passion:
Combine a skill or a passion with volunteering, and don’t try to force-fit yourself into an activity you don’t enjoy. Volunteering is something you do in your spare time, so make sure it is something you like to do. If swinging a hammer isn’t your thing, then don’t volunteer to help build a house.


Match your skills and abilities with an organization for the best results. Toronto’s Chris Delombre, a passionate cyclist, discovered that he also had a passion for raising funds for charity when he combined riding with fundraising.


He has founded his own philanthropic group for cyclists — Le Domestique — to raise money and awareness for a variety of charities while doing something they love to do.