Being a volunteer and contributing to our community is an honour. I volunteer for many organizations because behind every opportunity there is the chance to learn, to grow, to produce, to meet people, and to think.
Another reason volunteering is such a large part of my life is personal. My father immigrated to Canada from then Bombay, India in 1968. The Jewish Agency helped secure his entrance into Canada. The Jewish Social Services Agency (our JCFS) found him accommodations. Funding from the Federation makes these resources available today for new Canadians. This is something that I have never taken for granted and so I get involved and give back.
The other reasons that I devote energy to our Community are my children. Volunteering sets a wonderful example for our children that they should not complacently wander through life as though they are mere spectators.
My third reason is that in 1988 as a Grade 12 student when I was presented the opportunity of a lifetime – to go on the first March of the Living from Winnipeg. I walked away with the promise to raise a Jewish family and to one day teach my children the importance of doing the same. March of the Living is one of the most important Engagement programs for our future leaders and it is funded in part by the Federation.
If any of you have ever wondered if your donation to the Combined Jewish Appeal makes a tangible difference in the lives of others - don’t wonder. I am a first generation Canadian and an original March of the Living participant having benefited directly and indirectly from the Federation.