Ron Vander, Victoria Thorburn and Andrew Helt are sharing their passions and interests with others through volunteer opportunities in the local community. By living the values of social responsibility and giving back, all three have participated in rewarding experiences.
Ron Vander, facilities manager at Robarts Research Institute, volunteers his time as an area commissioner for Scouts Canada, providing outdoor and adventure programming to young people in the London area.
“It’s a little bit like Robarts in that people there are really passionate about what they are doing and have big aspirations,” he said. “Scouting can take you so many places.”
Vander enjoys the cooperative nature of the Scouts program and says the youth are learning to reach their own goals and find the best in themselves and others.
Andrew Helt, Medicine Class of 2016, shares his love of swimming with special needs children as an instructor for Making Waves London.
“Teaching these children, who are so incredibly resilient and courageous, never fails to put a smile on my face,” he said. “Helping them love the water lets me know my time is well invested.”
Helt has been working with Making Waves for five years.
For Victoria Thorburn, a third year BMSc student, working with the Christian Benefit Thrift Shop (CBTS) has expanded her community awareness.
The CBTS is a volunteer-run operation that sells donated household items and clothing at reasonable prices. Proceeds are then given to the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) to assist with global projects involving education initiatives, disaster relief and peace keeping.
“This is an opportunity to interact and hear the stories of people I may not have otherwise spoken with, Thorburn explained. “We all deserve to walk with dignity and we must do what we can to enable others to have pride in themselves, no matter what their story may be.”