Lindsay believes the greatest leaders are often volunteers

Painted across the top of a room at Hope House are the words ‘a leader is someone who looks at the world, says it doesn’t have to be this way, and then does something about it.’ I love this definition. It speaks to the idea that a true leader is not just someone who occupies a position of authority, or does an assigned job, or plays a role.

When I consider that, I realize that you could easily substitute the word volunteer in the place of ‘leader’ and the definition would have the exact same validity.

When you think about it, the greatest leaders we see in our communities are often volunteers: people who are on the front lines of making the world a better place simply because it is something they must do. Volunteers are people who look at the world around them and decide to be part of making it a better place. They are the people who do the jobs that others overlook. They are the servant-hearted folks who work in the trenches – who find the jobs that need to get done and do them. They are often the first on the job and the last ones to leave. I’ve watched volunteers go above and beyond for no greater reason than that they intrinsically know that what they are doing is needed and right.

I have been privileged to work with some of the most amazing volunteers. I have watched them sacrifice their time and energy to change the world we live in. They are people who inspire me in the work I do, and who remind me what true dedication looks like. These volunteers are the unsung heroes – the leaders – who make our community the great place that it is.

– Lindsay Sytsma, Co-founder of GuelphGives & Development Director at HOPE House

Photo and story courtesy of Chris Tiessen

Posted on December 11, 2015