"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Volunteering is crucial, as it offers essential help to worthwhile causes. The benefits of volunteering are as varied as the volunteers. Ask people who volunteer and they will tell you that volunteering has changed them in ways they never expected. Some reasons are:
- can give a sense of worth and achievement
- helps you make new friends, deepens your friendships and/or helps make connections in your community
- can help learn new skill/s
- can expand your heart, mind and soul
- perhaps even helps land a job
- can reduce stress/anxiety, increase your mood/joy and provide hope to you when you give back
- may help you have physical health benefits
As you see the benefits are as varied as the volunteers.
At JAWS we knew students needed safe places and events to be able to volunteer at. Many post-secondary institutions and scholarships now require students to list their hours of volunteer work and explain what they have done to make their community/world a better place.
Knowing that students need to have this important experience and information for their applications forms and resume; the festival was created being run by volunteers, particularly-students.
In order to run clubs and organizations, basic funding is required. When these are child/student directed programs, this fundraising lands on the parent' shoulders as most do not have extra dollars to pay for all the activities their children would like to take part in. We know parents are all ready usually both working to provide for their families and asking them to now take the time to raise money for these organizations is often a burden.
The LLB Festival Committee set the vision of assisting non-profit organizations to obtain fundraising dollars to operate. These organizations need to somehow help or address children programing or needs. It was decided that the volunteering hours could be exchanged for an honorarium for the organization/club. The amount of $500.00 is the usually honorarium payed. This money is available to school and non school groups.
With High School students who are involved in various different groups, the student decides where their money contribution is assigned. For example Art, Drama, Music, Student Union, Leadership, Phys Ed, and Library have all benefitted from a student's volunteering and assigning their money to these programs.