Guest Column: Volunteering creates opportunity
Alumnus talks about the importance of giving back
On September 22nd I had the honour of receiving the Mount Royal University Lifetime Distinguished Achievement award, which recognizes alumni commitment to excellence in professional, community or personal endeavors.
It was indeed an honour to receive this recognition, primarily for the volunteering that I have been involved with in my community, province and country.
To be a volunteer is part of our way of life in Canada.
It gives you the confidence that you can make a contribution to our society and also leads to family and personal satisfaction.
As a volunteer, I have served in many capacities with the city of Calgary, the province of Alberta, the government of Canada, the University of Calgary senate, as well as many community and sporting organizations.
Over the years, my volunteer work has allowed me to build bridges between the past and present, as well as projects to preserve Canadian Chinese history and to advance recognition of the significant role that Canadians of Chinese descent have played in the history of Canada.
Opportunity can often come through volunteering.
I had the honour of serving my country in the role of a Canadian citizenship judge and over a three-year term I was able to welcome over 40,000 new Canadians to Southern Alberta.
I learned first-hand the cultural diversity that our nation enjoys.
When you volunteer you will develop both literally and figuratively.
You will set an example of commitment and dedication, but most importantly, you must have fun in what you do, and your joy will come through your accomplishments.
Look around in your communities and see what is going on.
Seek the places where your efforts may be best suited. See where the gaps are and see where an effort may be needed to start something new or to reinvigorate a struggling organization.
Remember what Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
The Hon. Raymond Lee is a leader in the Canadian Chinese community and an MRU alumnus.