As I reflect on my 44 years of involvement I the nonprofit sector, I easily recognize the value of volunteerism.

I was 16 when I volunteered on a Provincial Youth Board. This experience connected me to people and opportunities that lead me on this journey of life that I love.

2001 was declared the International Year of the Volunteers. The theme for the year was: “The value of one. The power of many.” These lines burst with just how valuable each and every person is. Everyone has something unique to offer the world. Together, joining our contributions we impact change that produces fulfillment that ripples beyond our imaginations. I do not have to think too hard before memories of volunteer impact floods my thoughts and warms my heart. Why? Because I know everyone makes a difference.

Personally, my life is impacted by volunteers every single day. I can not imagine what my life would be like without volunteers. Most importantly to me is that each individual experiences fulfillment through their volunteer activity.

Life is full of changes, challenges and choices. I have learned that volunteerism helped me to adapt to change. New experiences are available every single day. Volunteerism is one way that provides the opportunity to explore the world around you. As you explore you will discover the universe of opportunity for personal and professional development. Change is inevitable, it’s adjusting to change that unveils choices that bring new experiences.

Leaving the YWCA to work at Volunteer Lethbridge was rejuvenating. Volunteer Lethbridge provided me with numerous opportunities to serve the community, locally, provincially and nationally. My desire was to never stay too long! There were great strides taken and the opportunity for growth abounds. We live in a magnificent community.

Leaving Volunteer Lethbridge for a role at Martha Retreat Centre was a great next step for me before retirement. I will serve our community through this agency! It is exciting to know that what I contribute to life adds value to those around me. I am able to add value only because of the value each person I have met contributes to my life. The foundation for me is loving people for who they are and what they offer the world.

Volunteers have transformed the grounds at the Martha Retreat Centre. We have an open, welcoming space where people come to rest, reflect and renew. At 60 years old, I take hold of change to impact our world by making a difference in the lives of people, one person at a time. It is not easy, yet the investment reaps dividends that no money could give adequate exchange.

Volunteerism transformed my life.

Volunteers impact my life daily.

Together, we make a world of difference.

Thank you to all individuals who have crossed my path as a volunteer. You are a jewel in the treasure chest of life. Thank you for all the wonderful opportunities you have provided for me to grow my personal capacity to love and serve people.

Diana Sim
Executive Director
Martha Retreat Centre

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