How long have you volunteered with CMHA Kelowna?
I have enjoyed volunteering with CMHA in Kelowna for the past 4 years. I help with community events including fund raisers, community information sessions and awareness events.
What motivated you to volunteer at CMHA?
In any given year 1 in 5 people in Canada personally experiences a mental health problem or illness. Stigma attached to mental illness can be a barrier to acceptance in a community. I hope that by volunteering at community events I can, in a small way, help to reduce the stigma around mental illness by creating awareness, encouraging dialogue and increasing support for CMHA Kelowna and the people who use its services.
What makes this volunteer experience a meaningful use of your time?
I am constantly amazed by the number and variety of services and programs available at CMHA Kelowna by a dedicated and caring staff and the volunteers. By volunteering with CMHA I have learned a lot about mental illness and met some inspiring people. My life is richer for being a part of it.
What is the most memorable accomplishment of your volunteer experience with CMHA?
One of my favourite events is the annual Christmas lunch for those who use CMHA programs and resources. The CMHA staff and volunteers prepare and serve a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. There is entertainment and everyone goes home with full tummies, warm hearts and a small gift. It is a joy-filled occasion for the attendees as well as for all those who help to make it happen.