When I first came on board as a volunteer with the MentorAction Steering Committee, it was something I saw as of benefit to me professionally: an opportunity to make some connections with men on the Steering Committee and the staff of Interval House of Hamilton. At the time, working for many years in child welfare, it was also a good way to be involved in a project that connected to the child safety and well-being mission of child protection work.
The Steering Committee is comprised of male-identified allies who regularly meet and provide guidance and strategic planning with a focus on raising awareness and creating safer communities. Each member is responsible to honour the voices and experiences of women, as well as the leadership of women. Over the years, the steering committee has worked hard to creatively explore new ways to engage men and boys in the eradication of gender-based violence and to work towards gender parity.
I don’t consider myself to be a volunteer, per se, defined as “to give without being asked and without being paid”. Somehow it isn’t on the top of my mind that I am giving of myself, since my feeling throughout my time on the Steering Committee is that I’ve gained more than I have contributed. That feeling has kept me involved for many years with MentorAction, and no doubt, when you don’t feel like you’re “giving”, but “gaining”, that’s the sign of a successful volunteer role!
If you are interested in volunteering, reach out – MentorAction is always in need of volunteers.
Submitted by: Shawn Chisholm, MentorAction Steering Committee (2021)