Change The World! Go MAD! Make A Difference

By Harnoor Gill

My name is Harnoor Gill and this is my second year participating in the Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge which is a three-week campaign with one goal: getting high school students to volunteer in their community. I had a wonderful time participating in this challenge and am looking forward to enrolling again this year.

Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge started as a test project in 2008, with the goal of getting 300 youth to volunteer locally. Volunteer opportunities were coordinated by 7 volunteer centers across Ontario. Since then, every year has been a huge success. Over 900 youth volunteered in their cities and towns during the campaign. Last year, 21 volunteer centers took part representing more than 265 communities across Ontario. With all of their generous contributions over 15,000 youth volunteered nearly 70,000 hours in their cities and towns doing amazingly during their campaign. This program is organized by the local volunteer centers with the support of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Halton’s Youth Advisory Council was established in 2011 and is campaigning for Change The World! I am one of the youngest members of this group of youth aged 14-18 who work alongside the regional government. We meet on a monthly basis to give youth, perspective and input and strategize about ways to engage youth in civics. Last year, we successfully ran this volunteer challenge during the international volunteer week in April. Volunteer Halton had a fantastic year of volunteer service in 2011. Thousands of Halton students throughout the Halton region dedicated their talents, ideas and skills towards making a better place with 10,000 youth volunteering 3 hours each over 3 weeks in 2011. It was a proud moment for youth volunteerism and they made it a great success while changing the world! Go Make A Difference (MAD)!

Volunteering is a great way to help, so make it happen and make it special in 2012! I urge the youth out there to participate in the youth challenge. Students are rewarded with community involvement hours that they need to graduate high school. One of the goals of volunteering is to ensure building safe and strong communities throughout the world. We all can take part in and we all can make a difference!

The extraordinary work these volunteers put in maintaining parks, assisting with youth programs, and serving on Boards and Committees are invaluable to Volunteer Halton’s ability to provide the high quality facilities and services within the community. A great big thank you, to all my Team Youth Advisory Council members. With all their help, our team was successfully able to collect data for this youth volunteer challenge.

Volunteer Halton is now looking for new members to join this Youth Advisory Council, if you are interested please contact Shannon Kitchings at ctw@cdhalton.ca or leave them a message on facebook link below:


For the 2012 Change The World! challenge, Ontario youth volunteer are more than welcome to contribute three hours during the three week campaign which starts during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, and continues to May 6. Interested to know more about it? Explore the following link:


Again thanks to everyone who contributed to this challenge. Now we are one more step closer to our dream of a volunteerism:

Change The World! Go MAD (Make A Difference)!

Harnoor Gill is a Grade 8 Student from Georgetown, Ontario.

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