Frank believes volunteerism allows you to live a life of relevance
When I was younger I was encouraged to volunteer for a variety of causes, but appreciating the underlying motivation always escaped me. It was only when I returned to Guelph to begin my career that the notion of ‘giving back’ – the principal at the foundation of volunteerism that I had been taught – began to resonate.
Finding causes to devote my time to was a matter of supporting organizations that affected me or my family – like Alzheimer’s or Hospice care. Other times it stemmed from my sense of social justice that was cultivated in my youth by my parents, my teachers, and my perspective on the injustices in the world around me in the forms of violence against women, bigotry, poverty, or homelessness. And then there were the organizations such as the Hospital Foundation, School Board, and international aid agencies I would assist by means of legal, business, and bridge-building skills. For me, volunteering has never been a situation of imposing my ideas, but rather incorporating them and my time and understanding to the mix from many others – and watching as these ideas are realized and begin to better the lives of others.
Volunteerism in its essence is living a life of relevance, becoming a more caring person humbled by those you help. Volunteering benefits our entire community, and upholds a covenant of ‘service before self.’ The ability of people to work willingly together for the betterment of their community and themselves is a truly valuable resource.
– Frank Valeriote, Smith Valeriote Law Firm LLP
Photo and story courtesy of Chris Tiessen