5 tips for getting more involved in your community in 2022

·3 min read
5 tips for getting more involved in your community in 2022

Are you hoping to get involved more in your community or volunteer in 2022, but not sure how to do so? Here are some tips from Keyshawn Bonamy, executive director of P.E.I.'s Voluntary Resource Council.

The Voluntary Resource Council is an umbrella group for non-profit organizations on P.E.I. It runs the Voluntary Resource Centre, a space in downtown Charlottetown where groups can meet and share resources and information.

1. Find a cause you believe in

Figure out what kind of organization you want to volunteer for, said Bonamy.

"Find a cause that speaks to you. And you will actually find that within this province, within Charlottetown itself, there are groups … that cater to your cause."

Within the Voluntary Resource Council, the 55 member organizations range from the P.E.I. Lung Association, to the Sierra Club of Canada, to Charlottetown Meals on Wheels.

2. Reach out to a non-profit

Once you know the kind of organization you want to support, contact them.

"They have put in the work for many years and they will show you what needs to be done and they will work with you," said Bonamy.

"You will find yourself in a sort of community of volunteers that are willing to give back and willing to do things to uplift their entire community."

3. Small gestures mean a lot

Growing up in the Bahamas, Bonamy was taught the importance of giving back.

"I was always taught that, you know, you are coming into this world and you have a purpose. And ultimately that sort of purpose should be giving back to your community," he said.

The people here are amazing. — Keyshawn Bonamy

While studying at UPEI, Bonamy volunteered with several different organizations and helped found the UPEI Rotaract Club, a youth version of Rotary International.

"You might think, oh, you're just one person. What possible difference could one person make? Even if it's just something small, even if it's something micro, it adds up over time and you influence other people to want to sort of follow into your lead," Bonamy said.

He said that even contributing one hour a week will help make a difference.

4. If you can't donate time, donate money

Not everyone is able to take time to volunteer, but non-profits always need monetary donations as well.

"A lot of organizations are constantly accepting donations because it is those donations that keep our organizations running," he said.

"The smallest amount of help that you can offer can make a massive impact in someone's life."

5. Volunteering will help you feel connected to your community

Bonamy said that when you volunteer, you're not just helping others.

"When you are giving back to your community, you are actually going out there and you become better. You become more aware of what is happening within your immediate surroundings," he said.

"That strengthens all of us, and I think it lifts up the community."

Bonamy said since moving here, he has seen people on P.E.I. really come together to support one another.

"The people here are amazing. Their dedication to community and how they care for each other is something that's very admirable."

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