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Meet Zain, a teen who is passionate about giving back to his community. Zain started volunteering with Circle of Care’s Link Generations program in 2022. In this program, Zain developed meaningful connections with older adults – creating a strong link between two generations. Inspired by the result of this volunteer opportunity, Zain plans to incorporate volunteer work regularly into his schedule.

1. What inspired you to begin volunteering with Circle of Care?

I was exploring various volunteer opportunities to contribute to my community. That’s when I came across Circle of Care, who impressed me with their community support programs and services. What truly inspired me was the organization’s commitment to supporting the elderly, which made me feel an immediate connection to their mission. Volunteering with Circle of Care quickly became a passion of mine.

One particular volunteering opportunity that stood out was the Link Generations program, which took place once a week for several weeks. This program allowed young people like me to interact with and learn from the elderly, all while engaging in rich conversations about their life experiences and stories. Participating in these meetings was an incredible experience as it presented an excellent chance for me to enhance my social skills. Further, the challenges faced by our past generations taught me several good lessons in facing the challenges of this day and time.

2. Describe your volunteering experience.

Apart from the Zoom meetings with this program, I also had an opportunity to meet and spend time with seniors face-to-face. This included having lunch with them and conducting interviews to learn about their life stories.

The conversations were a special part of the program. We had the privilege of listening to their life experiences, memories, and wisdom. These moments were both enlightening and heartwarming as we discovered their unique journeys.

After the interviews, the other youth and I embarked on creating a ‘Legacy Project’ creative series, producing a captivating video that captured the essence of their lives.

3. Has volunteering changed your outlook in any way?

Volunteering has had a major impact on my outlook on life. It has enabled me to see the world through a different view and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and needs of various communities. Through my volunteering experience, I’ve developed a sense of empathy and compassion, and now have more of a passion for making positive changes in the world.

4. What’s one positive moment you remember at Circle of Care?

Playing bingo with older adults! It was more than a game; it built direct connections and the experience was filled with pure joy. The room buzzed with excitement and competition, making their enthusiasm contagious, and filling the room with cheers and laughter at every “Bingo!”

5. What’s one piece of advice you would give to another volunteer or potential volunteer?

My advice for volunteers or potential volunteers is simple: keep an open heart and be ready to learn from the people you’re helping. Their inspiring stories and experiences can teach us several life lessons that we’ll need at any stage of our lives.