South Health Campus Youth Volunteer: Srushti Parekh
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer because it’s fun! The atmosphere of everyone enjoying their day, and the like-mindedness of the various volunteers is what draws me to come. All the volunteers that dedicate their time are super friendly and approachable and are always willing to help better the community. I love putting a smile on the kids that come for rock climbing. Even if someone comes in a bad mood, they are sure to walk out with a spring in their step, and it’s amazing to contribute to that experience.
Why do you volunteer with the YMCA specifically?
The YMCA is an incredibly positive and safe space for anyone who comes in, whether they are just passing by or partaking in one of the classes. From the various places I have volunteered, I haven’t found a place quite like the YMCA. It’s a place that anyone can come to grow, whether it’s cooking classes or rock climbing. The overall positive atmosphere of the YMCA is infectious, and it makes me look forward to volunteering every week.
What is your favorite thing about volunteering?
I honestly can’t pick a favorite! I love volunteering with the other amazing people there, and contributing to the community. It gives me a sense of satisfaction and pride knowing that I make a difference in the space. It’s also gratifying teaching kids skills and watching them grow. The YMCA is one of my calming, happy places and I look forward to going there every time.
What is your YMCA story? What brought you here?
As I was growing up, the YMCA was always a place to have fun and go on Sundays to have fun with my family. While I was in Edmonton at the time being, the overall idea of it is universal. When I was little I looked forward to going there every Sunday for rock climbing, and I made many of my friends there. As a kid, I was incredibly shy to the point where I wouldn’t talk to someone unless they made effort in making conversation with me. The people who worked there urged me to make friends and contributed to the social butterfly that I have grown into today. Now, I hope to make an impact like that on someone’s life every week when I volunteer.