Emeasoba George once said: “The greatest legacy anyone can leave behind is to positively impact the lives of others. Whenever you add value to other people’s lives, you are unknowingly leaving footprints on the sands of time that live on, even after your demise.”
Before the Pandemic, I was able to meet with people and possibly influence their lives through volunteering. It was easy to see the impact I had on the community. I was able to see the smiles of the people I helped and I created a connection with those who I helped and worked with.
As the Pandemic came to Lethbridge, volunteering, for me, changed. I did not want to put myself at risk by meeting with people, as the Covid-19 virus is extremely contagious. Thus, I was not able to leave an impact on the community because I could not volunteer. As the virus spread, I also decided to leave Lethbridge and move back to my hometown, which forced me to be isolated.
However, as with anything, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I was in my hometown, there were still some things that I could do to volunteer. I utilized online tools, which allowed me to communicate with others, and devoted my time to the many organizations that I am a part of. I lead the Humans of ULeth club and we hosted many events during the year and I host a radio show on CKXU called “The Hot Pot” with my friends every week. It became apparent to me that even though I was not in Lethbridge, I still left footprints on the community, as George states. It may have not been as explicit as volunteering in person, but nevertheless, I may have influenced one or more people, even if I was in my childhood bedroom the whole time.
While volunteering has most definitely changed during the Pandemic, we are still able to help those in need, devote our time to a cause that we love, and leave an impact on the people and the community, even if we do not know it. And, while the virus will disappear at some point, the kind acts that volunteers do will always remain.
By Matthew Somerville
YQL Awarded Volunteer