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Many people consider volunteering to be an activity reserved for the Holiday Season and high school students looking to gain resume experience.
The common argument from working professionals is that they simply do not have the time to volunteer. But we all know that this is not true.
The benefits of volunteering are endless. Volunteering can help you in your professional life because it “amps up” your resume and makes you seem more dynamic. In addition to the extra resume clout, volunteering also has added benefits because you acquire new skills, knowledge, and perspective.
This new article series highlights inspiring Ashton College employees who have dedicated their time and efforts to volunteer for efforts they are passionate about.
Heather Blanchard is Ashton College’s Human Resources Assistant, and has been with the college for a number of years.
Heather started volunteering in her youth. It was a way for her to give back. At first, however, she started because it was something for her to do because she couldn’t work, “I would go down to the park and help the park lady and do day camp, so it was a time filler for me.”
In addition, Heather was also an Air Cadet during her teenage years where they placed a heavy emphasis on community involvement and giving back. However, it was when Heather turned 17 and became involved with the BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities that she really found an organization she could connect with.
“This is an organization that I have got services from and benefited my whole life, so it has remained important for me to stay connected and give back. I see now, looking back on my childhood, going to Easter Seal camps really did impact and shape who I was, and I want other kids to have that opportunity.”
While Heather has been volunteering since the age of 12, she has a few stand-out memories that are pretty unique.
“In my role as an Easter Seal’s ambassador I was speaking on behalf of the children who went to camp. I started giving a lot of speeches. I got to speak to a gala of 500 people. But, the most memorable thing was when I had to repel off of a side of building! You raise funds, and then rappel down the building. It is one of the craziest things I have ever had to do. I had to go down 20 stories!”
Volunteering is a rewarding experience that provides you with once in a life time opportunities. Heather is a veteran volunteer and the best advice she has for those looking to get involved, is to do something you love, and something that you can connect to on personal level.
“I would just say that you are volunteering, spending your time, and giving back – find something that you are passionate about. Do it for a cause that you believe in. It will be more powerful and enduring. It is more rewarding because I am out there with people who are in that community and who want to make the same differences as I do. These are people who I can relate to.”