Dal volunteers give it up for free
Show your community spirit for National Volunteer Week
Ryan McNutt - April 19, 2012
It’s National Volunteer Week – which at Dalhousie, really isn’t that different than any other week.
The university is full of students, faculty and staff who make time in their busy schedules to give back, whether here on campus or out in the community.
Steve Morley with MedIT has been coaching track and field for more than 20 years, with athletes ranging in age from elementary school to post-collegiate.
“It’s probably about 20 hours a week,” he says, adding that what makes it worthwhile are, “the smiles on the faces of the kids, and on their faces when they come back the next day.”
Mr. Morley is also a track athlete; he’s currently training for a 3,000 metre steeplechase in Saint John later this summer.
“Sports have been very good to me over the years. I feel I should give back.”
He’s not alone among Dal employees. In last year’s Workplace Survey, 61 per cent of Dal employees said that they volunteer in the community outside of Dal, and 30 per cent volunteer their time on campus.
John Bullock, Dal’s information security manager, is a volunteer: he spends his lunch break every Friday with allen wrenches and air pumps at the Campus Bike Centre.
“Education is a big part of what we do,” he says. “The goal is that bikers become self-sufficient in looking after their bike, but we’re there to help with tools and expertise on-site.”
Dal’s students are eager volunteers, putting thousands of hours into community service. For example, there’s Residence Community Day, where residence students donate time to one of several local organizations, or law student Alayna Kolodziechuk, recipient of this year’s Activist of the Year award at the Dalhousie Impact Awards. She writes political theatre performances and gives the proceeds to various charities.
For many, when volunteer opportunities align with a passion, the extra effort comes easily.
“It’s almost a selfish thing, in a way, because of how much I enjoy it,” says Mr. Bullock, a dedicated biker himself. “When you enjoy it, it doesn’t really feel like work. It’s just fun.”
How do you give back to your community? Do you know a Dal volunteer who deserves kudos? Share in the comments.