by Mark Downey
For the past three years, I have volunteered at Steveston Community Centre, which is nearby where I live.
I volunteer Friday evenings for up to four hours with youth and young adults. I assist at the front desk to check people in, make sure they write their name, pay the drop-in fee for basketball and receive a wrist band for access to the gym.
Sometimes people try to sneak into the gym, so I compare the numbers of people on the list and in the gym. If the number isn’t the same, I tell my co-worker and he goes to the gym to do a wristband check.
I also go around the outside with my co-worker at around 10:00 pm to make sure people aren’t smoking, drinking or lighting firecrackers.
Since I’ve been volunteering in my community, I have met new people and have felt helpful. I am proud of myself even though I feel tired the next day.
Looking back on the past three years, the staff have changed but acceptance is still there. I plan to continue as long as I can because I enjoy it.
When my previous supervisor was planning to leave, he gave me some great advice. He told me to stay and continue the great work I’m doing. He reminded me that I have the right to walk away if I stopped enjoying the work. He communicated inclusion and equality in my life and I’ll always remember him for that.