Change the World’s 2015 campaign: YOU name it, WE change it!

 Harnoor Gill, founder of Peace Welcome Club is all set to kick off this year's ChangeTheWorld, Ontario youth volunteer challenge Campaign.BY HARNOOR GILL

Grade 11 student

Christ The King Catholic Secondary

Georgetown, Ontario


THIS year will mark a special event for Peace Welcome Club (PWC) in its ChangeTheWorld campaign as it will mark the 3rd consecutive year that PWC has taken part in the Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge. Throughout the course of these past years, PWC has been able to influence youth from local communities to take part in this challenge and has successfully accumulated many hours for these youth.

As an avid volunteer myself, I would like to stress the slogan that ChangeTheWorld promotes each year, “Together we can make a difference.” This year, I have a goal for every youth out in Canada that goes to high school and requires hours for their diploma. It is, “GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE!” As scary as that might sound, it will help build your personality and help make new friends when you expand out of that zone. It has been proven from time to time as well that by going out to volunteer also helps to strengthen your bonds in the community and help you to create living change around yourself.

As the 3rd consecutive year for PWC, it’s about time that this volunteer challenge becomes known to every youth in Halton and Peel. I know for a fact that you can never have too many volunteer hours because I am living proof of a Grade 11 student volunteering from time to time even though I have many hours under my belt. The key to success about this Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge that I want youth to know this year is not the hours that they get but the experience that they gain.

An amazing opportunity will unfold yet again in the weeks from April 12 to May 24. Let’s get all of you 14- to 18-year-olds out and about in the communities for this ‘call to action’. This is also a perfect time to be able to participate in many initiatives such as assistance in a senior home, raise-a-reader, community cleanup, food drive, clothes drive and a book drive. If you are also into sports, there is an amazing opportunity to help with the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games this summer. These are just some of the sneak peeks you can have before starting to think at how you want to kick off your community’s Change the World campaign.

As the population of immigrant youth has started to grow, I would like to shine the light on an issue that I believe has never been looked upon. The point behind the campaign of raise-a-reader is to allow these youth that have trouble with English as a second language to help grasp it easily with another peer. Remember, that getting out of your comfort zone to help someone in a situation like this is an amazing opportunity to learn from as well as help in.

At the end of the day, this ‘call to action’ is an opportunity for youth to really show what they are made of and a chance for them to go above that 40-hour volunteer mark. Get those hours along with friends and don’t make a hassle to finish it at the last minute in Grade 12 either. Have fun and change the world around you!