By: Stephanie Jean Pierre
December of 2020 was when I began to volunteer at The Net. I had a lot of spare time and was worried about how I would start to earn the forty mandatory volunteer hours required to graduate from secondary school. Especially during a pandemic. The first activity I did was package holiday bags for the elderly. It was a straightforward and solitary task. Fill each bag with a food voucher, tea, treats, toiletries, winter wear, and a word puzzle book. Then we sorted them in alphabetical order. I stayed for an additional twenty minutes and helped bring the bags into the food bank room. About a week later, an email was sent to me. It included a photo of two people who received the holiday gifts. The message said seniors were grateful and it made their day. It felt wonderful knowing that a small act could make a difference in someone’s life…
The Virtual Game Nights are my favourite time to volunteer because interacting with other community youth is enjoyable, there are a lot of entertaining games, and I always laugh. It occurs every other Wednesday and occasionally on the weekend. Four to eight teenagers attend the activity. The volunteer sessions have been a great opportunity to get acquainted with other teens of Ancaster. While waiting for participants to arrive, we talk about our day. We spend the majority of our time playing social deduction and drawing games in backyard.co. The games I enjoy the most are Codewords, Draw Battle, and Tanx. I particularly like these games because they are somewhat challenging and have a variety of styles. Even though I cannot keep a poker face during games when I should not reveal anything, I enjoy each session and end up laughing every time. Inside jokes are created and some people say the most amusing things. Although there has not been a standout Virtual Game Night event that I loved, all times I have attended were a blast. The Net’s Virtual Game Nights is something I look forward to because of the laughter, fun games, and people.
The Net has been such an inspiring platform for me to give back to my community and connect with other young people during socially distant times. I would suggest the Net to anyone looking to volunteer, make friends or just to have fun. I look forward to participating in more opportunities and enjoying a lot more laughs along the way.