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Big Build 2019 brings Calgary volunteers of all ages together

Big Build 2019 was all about bringing community associations and youth volunteers together to make a difference in their communities!

For the past couple of months, community associations and youth volunteers came together to “build” up their communities through small construction projects.

The Federation of Calgary Communities teamed up with Youth Central to provide funding for community associations to complete projects for their neighbourhoods, with the help of Youth Central volunteers and a grant from the Youth Volunteer Corp.

The Twin Views Communal Garden, Community Wise Resource Centre, as well as the Braeside, Pineridge, Sherwood and Whitehorn Community Associations all received funding for Big Build 2019.

Saroz Khunkhun, President of the Whitehorn Community Association, explains that being involved in a Big Build project is helping to bring a wide range of ages together.

“We’ve got the youth working on this project, we’ve got the seniors that’ll be planting, we’re adjacent to two different schools… we have the ability to bring the community together even more,” said Khunkhun.

Youth Central volunteers construct planter boxes for the Whitehorn Community Association’s community garden.

Big Build 2019 connected Youth Central volunteers ranging from 12 to 18 years old to build a variety of construction projects like benches, a storage shed, and community garden boxes, to help bring neighbours together and brighten the community. These projects helped the youth learn valuable construction skills. Some groups also made connections with SAIT and Home Depot to further develop their projects.

These projects demonstrated the importance and value in volunteering—no matter your age.

“Some of the sweetest people and smartest people in the world get involved in their community in one way or another,” explained Youth Central Team Leader, Jessica Vu, “And by volunteering you’ll be able to meet these people, hear about their experiences, expand your own experiences, while helping other people.”

“That satisfaction helping community is something that you don’t often come by in your everyday activities.”

Youth Central volunteers help build a storage shed for the Pineridge Community Association’s ice rink.

Kaitlyn Chen, Director of the Community Garden with the Sherwood Community Association, said that this project is very important to their community and she hopes it will attract more people to their community garden.

Chen explains that while donating money is important, donating your time is even more valuable.

“Volunteering is what you want to contribute to society… it is very important for our lives and our society,” said Chen.

Kaitlyn Chen, of the Sherwood Community Association, chats with a volunteer.