Thanksgiving is upon us once again that is, if you live in Canada. Nevertheless, it’s a great time to get into the season of giving. Whether it’s giving back to your community,  giving your time to others or simply giving though to what you're thankful for this Thanksgiving, it’s still giving! Today however, I want to talk about giving back, as in volunteering.

At my school, in order to graduate you have to have a minimum of 40 hours of community service. Which to some may sound like a lot, it’s really 20 hours per year over the four years. At first, I’ll admit I was reluctant to get started. The idea of volunteering seemed more like a chore to get over with than an actual learning experience. I mean other than donating old clothes every year, I had never actually gone out and interacted with other people while giving back. That is, until I went with my father to my first volunteer gig, for the Manulife Financial Walk for Memories, for the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto.
If I had to sum it up in one word, the experience was energizing. Not only was my role in the walk was to energize others but the feel and energy in the air felt that way too! It was actually great and kind of fun, volunteering gave me a kind of sense of being a part of some sort of community that I wouldn’t ever have known about otherwise. Also it made me aware about other issues in the world that can be tended to, as well abut how changing the world can be done in the confines of your own town or city! You don’t have to go halfway around our beautiful globe to do some good, just joining a school club or better yet starting your won can make a difference. Even just liking a page on Facebook or sharing a link can open other people's eyes and perhaps inspire them to do some good too!

Now in one year, I’ve managed to get almost 80 hours and I’m still going strong. My tip for if you ever do want to get started and give back, make sure that it’s something that you like to do or for a cause that you like. If you you’re not good with children, don’t volunteer at a daycare because it will drive you crazy. If you’re good with computers, than maybe you can teach the elderly how to use them. If like me you’re into the environment, then join or create a club at school advocating about it! If you don’t enjoy what you’re working toward, than you’re volunteer experience will  never be joyful, simple as that.

So my advice to you, is to try to take the time to give back, in anyway possible. Either by simply donating old toys, liking a Facebook page or volunteering at the soup kitchen. Try and spread the love around, it will make you feel good and you'll be doing good at the same time!