Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Picture of a building with a fence known as Cherington Place, a nursing home located in Surrey, British Columbia.
It taught me that happiness can exist, even at old age, regardless of discouraging circumstances or diminishing health.

Several days ago, I was able to visit Cherington Place with my friends, a nursing home located in Surrey.  Our task was to keep the elderly company, so we made them cards and cookies, and prepared performances to keep them entertained (offering our time, treasures, and talent).

In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect. It was hard to imagine the difference we could make in their lives, since we were just a bunch of strangers giving them a visit. But now I know not to underestimate a stranger’s capacity to impact another’s life, because the effects can be tenfold.

I would’ve never predicted how amazing the effects of my visit to the nursing home would be.  After greeting the elderly and speaking to them one-on-one, I was amazed by how appreciative they were for my visit. Perhaps they felt lonely or abandoned before, but now tears of joy glistened in their eyes. Maybe all people need is to know they are cared for, even by a simple stranger.

Moreover, I was stunned by the optimism they had for their future, even at old age. They were so youthful in spirit, regardless of their frail bodies. They were selfless enough to tell me to take care of myself, even if they were the ones in wheelchairs. It taught me that happiness can exist, even at old age, regardless of discouraging circumstances or diminishing health.

I learned that the rewards of volunteering is a two-way street. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll get back – whether it’s a new outlook or a warm smile – when you give your time to help another.

So volunteer. It truly is a beauty.

Got any similar experiences? Share them below!

SFU Co-op Student

You Might Like These... Volunteering, Sustainability

Iceberg Melting
What’s Your Cause? Polar Regions, Climate Change, Cultural Awareness, New Immigrant

Over the course of the past semester, SFU Volunteer Services set out to learn what causes motivate SFU students to get involved in their communities–either on campus or beyond. We collected information through the ENGAGE blog and want to highlight some now in hopes of inspiring others to think about what their cause is and how they can contribute!

Children playing hopscotch
An SFU student perspective on the Big Sisters Study Buddy program

You may have heard of them–you may even have an idea of what they do. But have you ever thought of being one? Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland has been serving girls in one-to-one mentoring relationships since 1960, with the mission of “enhancing the confidence, self-esteem and well-being of girls through supportive friendships with caring women”. Each Big and Little Sister match gets together once a week for at least one year. 

Mubnii smiling with her hands in an open position, in front of an aquarium
Health Sciences Student Profile: Mubnii Morshed

Heath Sciences offer students one of the most comprehensive and diverse programs, focusing on everything from epidemiology, molecular biology to political science anthropology. These days, there are many volunteer opportunities associated with the Health Sciences.

You Might Like These... Volunteering

banner of student of the week: Hannah
Engaged Student of the Week: Hannah Seraphim

Check out this week's Engaged Student of the Week! Learn about why and how they are engaged and how you can get involved at SFU too.

Top view of SFU
Volunteering with SFU Residence and Housing

As a person living on campus, Shayne was looking for ways to get involved with SFU and ended up finding leadership opportunities that took her from her dorm to all around Vancouver! Read about her experiences with SFU Residence and Housing!

There is a title "Working in the Non-Profit Sector". At the bottom left cornerof the image, there is a logo for SFU Work Integrated Learning.  Volunteer Services and Career Services are located at the bottom right corner.
Working in the Non-Profit Sector Panel: A Rewarding Career Path?

2010 EVENT RECAP: How do you acquire a successful and rewarding career? For five professionals, it was working for community organizations in the non-profit sector. The non-profit sector gave them the opportunity to contribute their professional skills, experiences and passions to advance their career while making a positive difference in their communities. Recently, they sat down with SFU students and shared their personal stories and journey to their current positions.