Meet Thanusan, he’s been involved in our short-term volunteering opportunity (Game On!) consistently since Fall 2016, and only missed 1 session in that time. Game On is typically offered every 3 months, so while writing this, he’s committed to almost 4 years of our 8-week program, making him one of the longest-standing volunteers in that program.
It’s One of Our Most Accessible Programs to Volunteer in
As mentioned above, Game On is an 8 week program, with 3-4 volunteers, and upwards of 12 children, focusing primarily on physical exercise, communication skills, teamwork, and healthy eating, (you can find more information here.) One of the major benefits of volunteering in Game On is that by nature, the program is easily structured, and you know what you expect – this resonated with Thanusan. Further, each session is wrapped up with a snack, and a group conversation about topics that are important in the children’s lives; for example topics like the value of teamwork, leadership, healthy eating, and the role that social media plays in today’s society. Thanusan notes that he “didn’t have much experience with children prior to this program, but the Mentoring Coordinator from Big Brothers was so helpful with getting me ready to be a Game On mentor.”
If You’re Looking for Consistency in Your Schedule…
Another notable feature about Game On is that each session, per season, is offered at the same location, day of the week, and time. Regardless of the mentor or mentee, you don’t need to be a super-athlete to volunteer, the program is inclusive in nature. Thanusan mentions, “you can tell which kids aren’t as physically minded, but after the first session, the kids in the program are still genuinely excited to be there.” Many of the kids that Thanusan has mentored have completed multiple rounds of Game On.
If You Want to Make a Difference in Your Community.
As a child, Thanusan was part of a group-based program that’s quite similar to Game On that was offered through his church. “As a kid, I didn’t fully grasp the value of the program until I was older, and then I truly saw the value of these kinds of programs when I started volunteering as an adult.” There’s something profound about helping coach positive behaviours through mentorship programs. Also, something we hear from both mentors and mentees is that they leave Game On with a new perspective on life, and this program gives them the space to live in the moment.
Thanusan finished the interview by mentioning to anyone who’s on the fence about getting involved: “regardless of the time required, volunteering in Game On is a worthwhile commitment.”
All the information you’ll need to know about getting involved in Game On can be found here. The application process is initially completed online, with the remainder done in person or on the phone; all of our volunteers receive an extensive training session and consistent guidance and support from one of our Mentoring Coordinators.