Championing our outstanding student volunteers

This story is part of the #UWCommunity National Volunteer Week 2016 series, profiling volunteer-driven University of Waterloo initiatives that help make a difference in our community.

Helping a ten year old Syrian refugee boy in Kitchener learn English, cleaning up Ezra Street in Waterloo after St. Patrick’s Day, teaching a senior citizen in Cambridge how to use an iPad so that he can Skype with his granddaughter – the impact of University of Waterloo students’ volunteerism in our community is one that is ought to be celebrated. Students at the University of Waterloo are some of Canada’s best and brightest. From creating startups that turn into million dollar companies, to authoring books, to working on groundbreaking research, we have much to be proud of; however, not only do UWaterloo students excel in their academics and career endeavours, they are and always have been very active citizens in our communities.

Feds Volunteer Centre grand opening ribbon cutting

Getting involved through volunteering on campus and in our community is a huge part of the university student experience. In an effort to make it easier for students to give back, the Federation of Students launched the Volunteer Centre in November 2015. The intent behind the creation of the Volunteer Centre was to answer the ever-present question: “Where and how can I get involved?”

Student working with the Volunteer Action Centre KWThe Feds Volunteer Centre provides a one-stop shop for students looking for answers to this question. By offering an in-person office in the Student Life Centre and an online database linked to the UW Portal, it centralizes all the different volunteer opportunities on campus. We know students are also looking to give back and volunteer within our region at large, which is why we are working with community partners like the Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener Waterloo and Area to include all major charities and nonprofits in our volunteer database.

Maaz YasinThe Feds Volunteer Centre allows any University of Waterloo student to browse through hundreds of volunteer opportunities both on-campus and in the Waterloo region. Students will be able to customize their search using a number of categories like interest, location, availability and more. By having access to innovative tools that facilitate volunteerism, students will be able to make an even bigger impact in the communities they live in.

Waterloo region is a diverse community with a large student population. The academic and entrepreneurial excellence of our students will continue to make a huge positive economic impact in our region, but it’s their dedication, community-service, and volunteerism that will bring us together as citizens and residents of one of Canada’s most celebrated communities. Together, let’s strive to continue to empower and champion our outstanding student volunteers.

Feridun Hamdullahpur with student volunteers

From April 10 to 16, 2016, we invite you to join in the conversation by celebrating and recognizing individuals, groups, committees and clubs at Waterloo who actively make a difference through volunteering. Share your photos, comments, or words of thanks on Twitter and Instagram using #UWCommunity and #NVW2016.

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