As we say goodbye to 2021, the year that kept us distantly apart but bonded us together as a resilient community, we are standing strong despite all upheavals. I can confidently say, volunteering has taken the centre stage and has become a major building block of society. It has helped to build a more inclusive society, shaping our value system, leading us to be healthier both emotionally and mentally.

Schools at various education levels inspire students to serve the community through volunteering while earning educational credit. It is a powerful learning tool engaging both mind and heart, a means to discover more about oneself and possible career opportunities, while preparing to become a finer person and responsible human being.

Volunteering is not distinctive to a specific group. It is a mode to achieve every milestone. It promotes well-being and self-satisfaction in every age group. It is a secret recipe for self-acceptance and carries a good feeling about oneself, paving the path of self-believing and creating value for everyone and to everyone.

A study shows that people who get involved in volunteering experience the highest levels of happiness. Helping others leave people more content, above and beyond the benefits of receiving help.

Spoken by great philosopher Aristotle over 2,300 years ago: “What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” Reinforcing that giving back to the community is not a new-found belief.

Volunteering provides an excellent contribution to the social fabric of society as it helps to walk the talk. Volunteers work for satisfaction, not for cheers. This is the perfect way to become the agent of change in the community. Most importantly, every volunteer has a spark, regardless of their culture, social, or economic condition, to engage others and create an emerging chain of neighbours helping neighbours, and create a better place to live, work, and thrive.

Let’s keep on collecting small acts of kindness to build a big mountain of gratitude. To learn about various volunteering opportunities, call or visit our office.

Deepak Anand is the MPP for Mississauga-Malton. He can be reached at deepak.anandco@pc.ola.org or 905-696-0367.