Volunteer's belief in dreams affirmedSeptember 8, 2011 by Lisa Bailey
First-time commitment involved minimal time and maximum use of skills and interest
Trisha Trudeau found inspiration and affirmation when she volunteered for the first time with the BC Centre for Ability.
As a ticket seller and auction assistant at the Centre’s premiere Dining for Dreams gala in May, she was part of a large team that collected $166,000 —a record for the 12-year-old fundraiser that supports people of all ages with disabilities.
“It was incredibly satisfying being able to do that much good and help all of these people,” says Trisha, whose investment amounted to less than eight hours of her time and exercising a natural affinity for sales and her strength as a people person.
“It was an incredible experience. I mean, no words can actually describe how it feels to be able to be part of a group and be able to help that much,” she says.
Trisha’s desire to help others motivated her, in part, to choose the Centre for her volunteer efforts. Visiting a website outlining volunteer opportunities at various organizations in British Columbia and Alberta, Trisha liked that the Centre was in her community.
She’d never heard of the Centre before but discovered things about it that she identified with strongly, such as its support of children and youth and its mission to help people realize their full potential.
“I love children,” she says.
“I’ve always wanted to help out . . . and I’ve always been a firm believer in following your dreams and so this seemed like a perfect fit.”
That belief was strengthened at Dining for Dreams where the Centre honours its Heroes of Ability. Chosen every year, these children, youth and adults are supported by the Centre and demonstrate the potential of people with disabilities to live life to the fullest.
The Heroes of Ability and their families share with the gala audience their challenges and accomplishments.
“Their stories are inspirational and it was amazing to see how people can overcome such difficulties,” Trisha says.
“They inspire (and show that) anybody can do it, follow their dreams.”
Trisha works full time but notes the commitment as a volunteer was minimal. She and other Dining for Dreams volunteers engaged in about 90 minutes of training before the event, followed by about five hours of performing various tasks at the fundraiser.
“It’s not a big time commitment, a couple of nights, and that’s it. And you have a blast. You meet lots of great people, and it’s worthwhile,” she says.
As with her experience, Trisha says people’s volunteerism can be matched with their interests and abilities. Noting she’s always been good at selling things and is a “people person,” Trisha sold all of her allotted raffle tickets.
“It was my mission . . . and I did it,” she says.
She says she would love to do more with the Centre in the future.
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