Giving Back to Our Community

By: Brenan Fuiten, VP External

It’s that time of the year where Mariah Carey makes a yearly comeback, and we all start to feel a little more jolly! This time of year also gets us thinking about what we can do for others and be a bigger part of our communities. I say communities because each of us have several diverse and unique areas in our lives that we are a part of. A few of the communities that I am a part of are the Terry Fox Foundation, the LGBTQIA+ community, the Red Deer Polytechnic, and on a broader level the community of Red Deer. Yes, at different times I have been more involved with some of these communities than others, but that is also a fact of life. We can’t give 100% of ourselves at all times, otherwise we burn out. So, don’t feel like you have to solve all of the world’s problems overnight, maybe get through your final assignments and exams before over extending yourself too much.

Now I am well aware that many of us reading this are students, myself included, and it can feel like we aren’t able to make a big difference. Yet, this could not be further from the truth.

We all can make a difference, even if it is just pursuing small little goals, or things we can accomplish.

Since little changes and efforts over time can lead to amazing results. As cliche as it sounds it can start with something as simple as a smile or asking someone how they are doing. Post-Secondary schooling can be tough, but being nice to someone doesn’t cost a thing, and you just might end up making a new friend. Part of the reason I’m writing this I met people on campus that pushed me in ways I didn’t think I could, just by being present within the community. Maybe it might be easier for you to meet people with a common interest and if that is the case joining one of the student groups on campus is a great way to meet others that you have at least one thing in common with. Another great way to get involved with your communities is to volunteer towards something that you believe in. If you don’t know where to start most of the time there is someone at these organizations you can email and get in touch with who would have insight into how to get started. If you aren’t sure about if there are any particular organizations that are worth giving your time and energy to ask your friends if there is somewhere they volunteer, or maybe take a Community Service Learning (CSL) opportunity as part of one of your classes. Not only does this put you out into the community helping out, you may actually know someone there, and it’s always more fun to do things with those you like. If there is a charity that you believe in, as a student I know that it can be tough to provide a monetary amount especially around the holidays, even a small amount can mean a big difference. What can make a bigger difference is promoting the charity on your social media and make others aware of it. Since if you’re passionate about this cause, likely others will be too.

At the end of the day it is about knowing that you did what you could and that you made a difference. We hear of those that made a big donation or put in a lot of resources, but it is the many of us putting in the legwork that really help make giving back to our communities the success that they are. It’s these small efforts that collectively have the biggest payoff.

No matter what you choose to do, thank you for making this world a better place.