Dijana is a WILD Outside participant.

Volunteers are like magicians.

Both have their ways to put a smile on their audience’s faces. Unlike magicians who have visual tricks up their sleeves to impress the audience, volunteers have more notable tricks — sympathy, passion, time — which many others might not possess. By investing their time and hard work for projects they believe in, volunteers help put smiles on people’s faces. Nowadays, there are thousands of volunteer organizations that are trying to spread happiness throughout the community in different manners.

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” — Audrey Hepburn

WILD Outside program is a program that spreads across Canada and tries to further ecological awareness in youth by providing opportunities to engage in various interesting activities. It is a free program that represents the youth community across Canada. WILD Outside provides various activities to make the participants enjoy volunteering while making positive contributions to the community.

Going outside is a great hobby. It provides good exercise both physically and mentally. That is one of the reasons why I was thrilled about this program. Two of my favorite trips were going paddle boarding and kayaking. We learned about plastic pollution in the water, and it was a great experience for bonding with others. It was also a great opportunity to enjoy Vancouver’s nature, and get away from our busy lives. Those trips are valuable memories for me, and I hope there will be more opportunities in the future to create new ones.

The WILD Outside program also helps youth to step up and show or improve their diverse skills. As one in the Vancouver group, I am very pleased to be apart of the Harbourview Park restoration project. Our purpose is to turn a dull piece of land into something useful both for the community and park animals.  In my opinion, this is a great opportunity for people to show their many skills while doing something good for the community and themselves.

Unfortunately, going outside has been proven hard due to all the health situations occurring in the world. I am satisfied with how the WILD Outside team has handled the health regulations and allowed their members to enjoy volunteering outside in a secure way. And for the times where we were urged to stay inside, the WILD Outside team provided many fun opportunities and events to keep members entertained and productive during the hard times. One of my favorite at-home activities has been the pumpkin carving contest! I am also excited about the event where we will have a movie night and watch a documentary about darkness and its importance.

However, the WILD Outside program has helped me view volunteering from a better perspective. They have shown me that volunteering can be fun. It is not only beneficial for the community but beneficial for your mental and physical health, too. I have met and worked with wonderful people, and my hope for the future is to keep making unforgettable memories and help put a smile on the community members’ faces.

After all, we are the magicians.