First, some news: due to a current account problem I might not get a podcast up this week. I am working on it but I can’t make any guarantees on that. Rest assured that The Alder Fork Podcast will be back as soon as I can get it up.
Recently on the podcast, I discussed the Change the World Youth Challenge. I was working with Volunteer Hamilton to encourage youth aged 14-18 to volunteer during National Volunteer Week. We received some media coverage but I wanted to use my space to congratulate the over 1200 students who volunteered last week. Collectively they contributed 7000+ hours to a number of local agencies. Although the data is still being collected it appears that Hamilton has exceeded all other centres in Ontario. I am absolutely amazed by the efforts of our young people. We set out on this project with modest goals of 700 students (in a city of over 500 000 people) and 3000 hours. It seems likely that the final results will give us more than double that. Our success is a direct result of the efforts of teachers, administrators, and especially the students. They took to this project with zeal, and I can honestly say that our future is in good hands. I couldn’t find an exact number there must be around 80 000 – 100 000 students in this city. We only counted registered students but I know that an equal number of unregistered students participated in volunteer activities during NVW, either because they volunteer every week, or because they participated in special events like the MS Walk of Earth Day Hamilton.
I am so proud of what young people have done in Hamilton. For many of our participants this was just one stop on a lifetime of volunteering, and for others this is the beginning of something special. Youth are often dismissed as troublesome or self-centred. I am grateful that I was able to witness quite the opposite in the many young people I encountered last week. If you live in Hamilton, this is a good day to be proud of your city.