MacServe: Confessions of a First Time Participant

With this being my third year, I guess you could be surprised that this was my first time. After all, hundreds of people participate in MacServe every single year. I’ve known people that have volunteered for the Day of Service, even people who have volunteered during reading week, and every single one of them spoke about how much they loved getting involved. This happened both first and second year, but still, I felt no need to register and participate myself. Between school, extra-curriculars, and other volunteering, who has the time?  As I came to find out on Saturday, my previous lack of participation had been a huge mistake.

This year, being a volunteer with the Student Success Centre, I was asked to be on hand to help run the event itself. But MacServe wasn’t just in Hamilton this year – it was all over Canada to celebrate McMaster’s 125th year; Students and alumni volunteered on Saturday in cities as far away as Vancouver. Early in the morning, before most volunteers had even arrived, I boarded a bus that made its way to Mississauga. The event takes place in Mississauga and the other cities mainly for those who commute or have already graduated. That way students and alumni can give back to their community whether or not they’re in Hamilton. I was a little nervous to be heading out so far – I’d never really been to Mississauga before that day – and I had an irrational fear that I would get left behind and my day would involve trying to figure out a way to get home. Luckily and as should have been expected, this didn’t happen.

Though I didn’t register, I ended up filling a spot at the Newcomer Centre of Peel, which works to bring new and experienced Canadians together in order to make newcomers feel more at home in the community. Specifically, my team and I worked with the Youth Connections group to help them put a fresh coat of paint on a couple of their walls. Along the way, we got to meet some amazing youth from the city. We played some ice breaker games to get to know each other over lunch and my team and I spoke about McMaster and how much we love Hamilton. We were also taught by some very talented kids how to paint professionally. Overall, the day was a complete success and I loved every minute of it.

So here it is, a confession of a first time participant: I will definitely be participating again and highly recommend each reader do the same. Hope to see you next year!

Want to know more about MacServe? Check out these links!

Have your own experience you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below!