first impressions... or lack thereof.

I finally began my volunteer placement through the Working Centre this past Friday afternoon. Rebecca has assigned me to Worth a Second Look (aka 'WASL'), a store run by volunteers and employees of the Working Centre. The goal is to minimize waste by reusing items in good condition, and provide affordable household items to the greater community.
Of course, this is a pretty simplified description of everything that they offer; I'd recommend clicking on the link and visiting their website for more information on their services.

I wish that I had experienced an incredible moment of clarity during my first shift on Friday, but to be honest, it was pretty ho-hum. Matt and Jessica are also doing their volunteer placements at WASL, and have had some time to reflect on their experiences there this far... I spent my first shift getting to know the store by re-stocking the shelves. No extended encounters with staff or customers took place, as I was put to work right away and quietly sorted through the incoming items.

As part of the Beyond Borders program (and preparation for the community service aspect of our placements this summer), we are required to complete at least 18 hours of volunteer work at the Working Centre this term. This is definitely a hands-on, learn-by-doing type of course, which is a refreshing change from the typical courses offered by universities today. I made a note during our first class with Joanne back in January - action is good, but reflection is better. I admit, this post is not full of introspection or even a deeper look at my initial WASL experience. Instead, it is more of a reminder to dig a little deeper in the future. To figure out why, and to quote the themes of past Beyond Borders seminars, to closely examine the stories that shape our individual lives and the communities that we are a part of.
I believe that experiences are what we make of them - how much effort you put into something typically determines how much is gained in return.

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