By Paulette McNally
Curl for Cancer volunteer
The best thing about volunteering is the positive environment that is set by the leaders. It was back in 2004 when I was approached by Nancy and Bill Swift to put together a couple of teams to represent Moneris Solutions. That was the beginning of a great journey that is still ongoing today.
I first started out curling with Bill on his team named the Swifters consisting of myself, Bill, Tony Wood and Tom Rusted; and we carried this on until Bill’s retirement in 2010. It was in 2005 that I was approached by Nancy asking if I could help out on the day of the event.
Little did I know what started out with taping up shoes and selling 50/50 tickets turned into eventually being part of an awesome team of volunteers being led by a great leader Nancy Swift and being a member of the Canadian Cancer Society Committee. From that point on I have never looked back.
I can remember at my first Curl for Cancer event watching Nancy and Bill and thinking, ‘wow what amazing individuals, they never stopped giving of their time and themselves and both always had a smile on their face.’
They were great mentors and I never felt like I could not reach out to either of them in a time of need. The courage Bill and Nancy took to complete the steps and leaps to make this event what it is today inspired everyone involved. So to Nancy and Bill, I want to say thank you for getting me involved and for sharing yourselves and showing me the ropes.
Now in 2013, Moneris Solutions has a total of 12 teams that are entered in the Curl for Cancer event each year and since the beginning we have raised a total of over $40,000. If it were not for all the hard work and unlimited support from the employees and managers at Moneris participating in the fundraising events, we would not be able to reach this goal. Some of the fundraising events we have are silent auction, casual weeks, 50/50s, and hot dog day Fridays. So to my peers at Moneris Solutions, I would like to say “Stand Proud, there is no better measure of a person than how much they give of themselves to help others.” Thank you for supporting such a great cause!
I have been asked on numerous occasions why do I volunteer?
Many people choose to volunteer because of the personal benefits that volunteering has on their character. Indeed, volunteers often say that the experience has made them a better person. In most cases, volunteers also become more concerned and aware of the problems facing the world and many feel that they were ignorant or narrow minded before.
A huge part of the personal growth of a volunteer is becoming more compassionate. People who have volunteered in the past often become emotionally involved and are more likely to volunteer again in the future, either on the same project or a new one. People often find lifelong friendships through volunteer work.
I don’t think anyone would volunteer, despite all the benefits, if the work was intolerable and they didn’t have any fun. Volunteer work can be hard, strenuous and frustrating, but it is also usually great fun and extremely rewarding. It will send you spiraling from homesickness, illness to culture shock but the fact is – you wouldn't do it if it wasn't worth it.
One of the more obvious reasons why people volunteer is because they find something they are passionate about and want to do something good for others.
Not only do I have the opportunity to contribute to the community but, through this volunteering, I'm also constantly gaining experience and learning about cancer
The thing I love most about volunteering is meeting new people. Everyone has different lifestyles, struggles, achievements; we all make different choices and just listening to and possibly helping with the next step in a person’s life.
Volunteering presents an opportunity for individuals to lend their unique skills and talents for the greater good of the communities with which we work and is fundamental to building strong communities.
I have reached out to the individuals from Moneris who fundraise and participate in the event and the most common reason why they do it is that Cancer touches everyone, every family.
One individual who is a cancer survivor came up with this chart to sum it up for herself:
Reality living your dreams
Empowerment beating the disease
I volunteer to give back to my community. I volunteer because I too have lost family members and close friends to this disease. I volunteer because I have so much appreciation for everyone else who is dedicating their time.
So I implore everyone to find a cause and volunteer. Because not only will you be helping others, you will be helping yourself as well. After all, we all win when we volunteer. "It just takes passion and focus" – without the two, it's hard."
Paulette McNally is a volunteer with Sackville’s Curl for Cancer fundraiser, which will be held once again this year at the local curling club on Saturday, Feb. 2. Thirty teams have registered for the event, which is held to raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick. Over 120 people are involved in this fundraiser and the public is welcome to come to the club and enjoy the action, live entertainment, food and fundraising to help in the fight against cancer.