There is no age requirement to get involved, and to find some way to make a positive difference in your community.
Many of us, with the passing of time, have become accustomed to certain privileges that invariably follow getting older – namely, receiving a driver’s license or having the opportunity to vote. These privileges, of course, are restricted by age. The most rewarding privilege in my life, however, was not bound by an age requirement.
I learned the importance of community involvement while in university as a Political Science student and through my experience as a student politician. Though it may seem like we have lost focus of it in today’s controversial political climate, being an engaged member of society is one of the foundations of politics. It was here, through my time in student politics, where I developed a passion for the well being of my community.
After I graduated from the University of Victoria and moved back home to Surrey, B.C., I wanted to continue to participate and be involved in the development of my community. I sought out volunteer opportunities where I could contribute and help others and was introduced to The Centre for Child Development. I knew it was a meaningful cause, as I personally knew of a close friend who had relied upon and benefited from the therapeutic services offered by the Centre. Additionally, my employer at the time supported many of the fundraising efforts hosted by the Centre and encouraged my involvement.
The Centre for Child Development, located in Surrey, has provided services to children across the Fraser Valley for over 65 years. With the help of an extraordinary team of over 100 staff, the Centre offers therapeutic services to over 2,700 children each year. Their services include physiotherapy, communication therapy, and developmental medicine. The Centre is successful in fulfilling its reputable mission statement of helping children with special needs reach their full potential.
A large part of the Centre’s expenses are funded from private donors and corporate partnerships. Unfortunately, government-funded grants cover only a small percentage of the operational expenses of the Centre. This motivated me to get involved with raising funds that support the Centre. I began planning charity golf tournaments and worked on several of the Centre’s own fundraising initiatives and events as a volunteer.
After getting to know the staff through my time volunteering, I felt there was an opportunity for me to add a youthful perspective to the Board of Directors. For over three years, I have been a member of the fundraising arm of the Centre’s Board – the Child Development Foundation of British Columbia – and our primary role is to provide necessary funds for the Centre to operate efficiently.
Being a part of the Centre has been a rewarding experience and I wanted to share this story to motivate young adults to become active members in their communities. There is no age requirement to get involved, and to find some way to make a positive difference in your community.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rajan Dhaliwal is an Uvic and SFU alumni and Surrey Top 25 Under 25 recipient. He is the youngest Board Director for the Child Development Foundation of British Columbia.
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