An Experience in 100 Hours

By John Grant, CEF Contributor Timeraiser Vancouver is an annual event where attendees can bid volunteer hours of their own time in exchange for artwork by local artists. CEF has been participating in this event since 2010 as a non-profit organization who volunteers can pledge their time to.  The next event is happening May 8th at Segal Place in Vancouver, and you can get your tickets here.

John Grant shares with us his experience as a Timeraiser volunteer:

In November 2012, I took on a big challenge as a participant of Timeraiser Vancouver; I pledged to volunteer 100 hours with non-profit organizations in Vancouver over the next 12 months. In return, I got to take home a highly coveted piece of artwork, which was beautifully crafted by Sarah Mulder. My Timeraiser experience introduced me to a number of interesting and important organizations - including Compassionate Eye Foundation. What initially drew me to CEF was that it is a unique non-profit that marries two of my big interests: photography and support for developing countries. In some ways I thought it was too good to be true that such an organization exists!

I attended several CEF events, including their year-end celebration, Wrap8, and a fundraising event. I found both to reveal a community of very interesting people who I had great conversations with and who shared similar interests – something that isn’t always easy to find.

Chatting with CEF's Executive Director, Susan McDonald, brought me even closer to the organization as she listened to the skill sets that I had and what my areas of interest were. She quickly identified a few ways that I could give back to the organization, while also building up some nice portfolio pieces for myself.  One of my favorite contributions is creating CEF’s monthly internal newsletter, In Focus.

I managed to contribute around one hour each week for the past year with CEF and met some great people along the way. I was also given some very cool exclusive access to a professional photo shoot; it was kind of a dream come true for an amateur photographer like myself!

You can read all about my experience with CEF and other volunteer groups I became involved with over the past year on my blog. Today, I proudly display my artwork piece in my home as a reflection of completing my volunteer hours. Now that my official Timeraiser experience is complete, I find that the artwork was merely a goal and a catalyst for me to experience something grander: The ability to connect with communities and to experience situations that I normally wouldn't encounter. For that alone, I encourage you to also find an organization that reflects something that you're passionate about and offer to provide them with a few hours of your time. In the end, the result will likely surprise you!

A huge thank you to John for sharing his experience with us, and for his continued work with CEF!