CEO Message: The benefits—and pleasure—of volunteering
Published April 20, 2022.
At Windmill, we love our volunteers, and like many charities, depend on them for a variety of skills. Each year, hundreds of dedicated professionals from across Canada work with our clients as mentors; others support Windmill by donating their professional services, by championing Windmill in their communities, or by governing Windmill on our board and committees.
Research suggests that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. Volunteerism has been shown to boost mental health by contributing to a volunteer’s sense of connection, community belonging and self-worth. It’s also an excellent way to grow one’s professional network, expand professional skills and gain leadership experience. One recent British study even put a value to it. Researchers conservatively estimated that the increased wellbeing associated with volunteering to be equal to £911 (about $1,500 Canadian) for each year of volunteering.
Windmill’s volunteers, like our clients, have diverse backgrounds, both professionally and culturally. Many are drawn to helping newcomers because of their own immigration experience, while others are motivated by the joy of learning, building a new relationship, and helping another person overcome common hurdles to launch their career.
In this newsletter, we’ve featured three of our volunteers, each of whom has a fascinating story and a different reason for volunteering. Nadia, one of our client mentors, references the transformational impact that mentors had on her successful transition to Canadian life, and how her story can give hope to newcomers who are currently struggling. Miho Donald, a finance professional who immigrated from Japan, and serves on Windmill’s Loan Committee, reports a sense of empowerment and renewed energy after volunteering. John Montalbano, the Chair of Windmill’s Finance and Risk Committee, and an active fundraising volunteer for a number of charities, talks about how he learned to raise money going door-to-door, with his mother as a child for the March of Dimes, and how those skills helped him in his career.
April 24 to 30 is Canada’s National Volunteer Week, and the perfect time for a new volunteer role. Mentorship of a new Canadian is one we’d love you consider. If you’d like to offer another volunteer service to Windmill, we’d also love to hear from you. If you’d like to learn more about volunteering with Windmill, please email Olutoyin Odum, our Alumni Relations Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read on to learn more about what three of our wonderful Windmill volunteers discovered through the process of volunteering, and to see Windmill’s current statistics on the clients we are helping.
Claudia Hepburn, CEO