The 519 is honoured to announce that long-time volunteer Glenn Betteridge has won a 2016 Volunteer Toronto Legacy Award. The award is given annually to 25 Toronto based volunteers who have shown exceptional volunteer performance.
Glenn has made an instrumental impact in all of the roles he has taken on during his years volunteering with The 519. Glenn is always the first to signup annually as a Green Space Team Lead, donating his entire Pride to supporting The 519's fundraising efforts. Glenn volunteered in the Philanthropy department for a few months assisting with various projects and initiatives including reviewing The 519's space use policy and leading a working group focused on the Village Study.
We are so excited for the award ceremony so we can say thank you one more time to Glenn for all he has done, and continues to do, for The 519.
VT: How has volunteering impacted your life?
Glenn: Volunteering has made me a better person. It has shaped my view of the world, the need for social justice, and the role of empathy, solidarity, social connection and compassion in building and sustaining communities and people.
It has also played a significant and positive role in my life-long relationship with my own anxiety and depression. Over the past 18 months, my volunteering at The 519 has allowed me to re-engage with life after a major depressive episode, which included hospitalization. The staff and other volunteers at The 519 have accepted and welcomed my contributions, and this has given me a sense of purpose, which has allowed me to regain my sense of self-worth, self-efficacy, and purpose outside of the values and pressures of the competitive economy.
It also feels great to be able to contribute to causes and organizations whose work and people I love and respect, and to be able to do so year-in, year-out.
Glenn: There hasn't been a moment that has stood out more than the others. It is more about the sense of fulfillment I get when I look around me when volunteering, and when I pause and look back at what I have been fortunate enough to contribute to over the span of many years.
VT: What have you learned from your time as a volunteer?
Glenn: To be humble. That the values and ways of volunteering–of serving–are essential to healthy organizations, communities and people, and stand apart from most paid work and the values of the larger consumer economy.
VT: Why do you think more people should volunteer?
Glenn: It brings me a peace, calm and sense of fulfillment that I don't find elsewhere in my life. It also reminds me of the important things in my life, and that I even when I am not in a position to contribute financially to causes and organizations I believe in, I can serve and use my skills and experience to work alongside others to make a positive difference in my community.