Volunteer Experience by Becky Tsu

I have immigrated to Canada for almost 40 years. Since I was a child I have learned from my family about helping others by doing volunteer work. In the past, I occasionally volunteered in the Caucasian community by engaging in activities such as providing meal delivery service, helping in fund-raising for charity at casinos, and helping at carnivals. In 2006 I got an opportunity to work for CCECA as a volunteer and had visited the elderly at their own homes as well as care centres.

In the beginning I was very happy as I met with the seniors and made friends with them. However, as time went by, I felt very sad when some of my senior friends passed away. Eventually I quit the job. After quitting for more than a year, I was able to overcome my emotional conflict. I therefore went back to my volunteer work at CCECA. I am pleased that my senior friends still remember me. I am glad that I have returned to this volunteer work because not only can I help the seniors, but I can also learn a lot from them. The knowledge I learn from them is not found in books. For example, they taught me about national education and about Mr. Sun Yatsen's Three Principles of the People. The stories they told me are very meaningful. Their positive and optimistic attitude let me understand the meaning of life better.

I am also in the civic engagement group which helps those who have experienced discrimination to file complaints by contacting the appropriate government department. From this experience I learned that we should fight against injustice.

In addition, I am the receptionist of the Way In department. Although it seems there is not much to do in this position, there is a lot of work to do as the receptionist is the front line of providing the outreach service. Since CCECA works with different organizations and government departments to safeguard the benefits of the seniors, I am able to gain a lot of experience during the process and I have improved my Mandarin a lot. Also, my role gives me the opportunity to learn and share with the seniors. The senior has set a good example for us by leading a happy and meaningful life.