This April 15 to 21, 2018 is recognized as National Volunteer Week (NVW) across the country. It’s a time to celebrate and thank Canada’s 12.7 million volunteers for donating their time to the community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel (BBBSP) is also taking this week to thank our 1,250 volunteers involved in mentoring, events, development and more for their hard work and dedication to our agency and the community. We’re taking part on social media by posting videos, photos and stories of our volunteers, caseworkers and local ambassadors using the hash tag #NVW2018, and you can too!

We have so many positive mentoring stories to share, because mentoring positively impacts more than just the mentee, but the mentor too. Darren Sketchley has been volunteering as a mentor for over 30 years with his one match Mathew, but also in many other programs. He says “There’s nothing more satisfying that I’ve done in my life, other than creating my own family. My career and everything is successful, but there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing somebody grow into a great human being and knowing you’ve been a part of that… what greater accomplishment is there?”

Over the course of 30 years, Darren and Mathew naturally grew to be best friends, they were both in each other’s wedding parties and Darren has even guided Mathew in starting his own business.

(See more of Darren and Mathews Story here.)

Darren says he’s gained a further sense of patience, commitment and responsibility through his experiences as a volunteer mentor, but he stresses it’s a two way street. “We always joke about the fact that I learned just as much as he did from it. It’s rewarding from both sides.”

I asked Darren if he would recommend trying one of our mentoring programs and he said absolutely. “It’s like an internal reward seeing a young boy grow into a great man, a great father and successful businessman. To feel like you’ve had a part in that is a real sense of pride, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try.”

Make sure you’re taking part by sharing your volunteer stories using #NVW2018, or start today by exploring our website to see how you can volunteer. We have over 10 programs always looking for volunteer mentors, positions to volunteer with our many Golf Classic, Gala, Bowl for Kids Sake events and more.

Happy National Volunteer Week from everyone here at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Peel.