Healthy Communities Y Stories YMCA Volunteers

Aree Brindar’s Y Story: How volunteering with the Y helped him achieve his goals

Person writing at a desk

Volunteering has many great benefits, and for many volunteers, one significant benefit is gaining experience to help achieve their employment goals. For Aree Brindar, the experience he gained by volunteering proved just as valuable as paid work, and helped him gain meaningful employment. Here’s Aree’s Y story:

Aree smiling for the cameraWhen Aree first came to Canada in September 2015, he connected with the Y’s programs for newcomers at the Hamilton YMCA Language Assessment Centre. Aree also spent some time volunteering at New Horizons Thrift store in Hamilton, before moving to Toronto this past May. He then continued with the TOEFL program in Toronto to improve his English skills, and also started volunteering at the Toronto Central Grosvenor Street YMCA’s Newcomer Information Centre (NIC).

Aree started volunteering at Central because he knew he wanted to give back to the community. “I was willing to help wherever I could,” he says, but he also formed valuable connections with the Central Y’s NIC team. “The team is great,” Aree says — and the feeling is mutual; staff members at Central NIC mentioned how helpful it has been having Aree at the centre, and how he was always available to complete any tasks needed.

Although Aree has only spent a short time volunteering at the Y, his volunteer experience has already helped him achieve his career goals and gain a fundraising job in the nonprofit sector. Although Aree’s original plan was to give back to the community in return for all the help he received from the YMCA when he first came to Canada, he ended up gaining so much more from his volunteer experience.

Thank you, Aree, for sharing your Y Story, and best of luck on your future career endeavors!