Jaya believes volunteerism is well worth the effort


I am extremely fortunate to work for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), an employer that supports self-funded leaves of absence by employees who want to make a difference in the community. By participating in OMAFRA’s self-funded leave program, I’ve been able to dedicate six months full-time to valuable volunteer work.

Specifically, since late December I have been volunteering as the Director of the Refugee Sponsorship Forum – a community initiative of First Baptist Church that supports groups who are sponsoring refugees coming to Guelph and the surrounding areas. My primary responsibilities have been supporting the close to 1000 volunteers that will be working with the 76 sponsored refugee families coming to the area. I have been communicating opportunities and needs of volunteers and the broader community, and working with individuals from other organizations that support refugees to coordinate activities across our communities.

Volunteering at any age gives you the opportunity to serve others, develop deeper relationships with people, and gain valuable workforce skills. I have been humbled and honoured to work with as talented and dedicated a volunteer pool as I’ve encountered on this project.

There are many causes that are bigger than ourselves. Find one that you are passionate about and volunteer. It’s well worth the effort.

– Jaya James, OMAFRA

Photo and story courtesy of Chris Tiessen

Posted on May 9, 2016