By TOM GODFREY
Dozens of teens who spend their free time giving back to the community were recognized at a Volunteer Day and block party in Etobicoke.
More than 500 residents showed up to celebrate volunteerism last week at the 21st anniversary Lakeshore Village Co-Ops and Lerette Manor block party.
Janice Karmody, of the South Etobicoke Youth Assembly (SEYA), said about 35 students from her group used their summer holidays to help others in the community.
“Most are here today helping out with the event,” Karmody told Share. “This party helps to recognize volunteers and the important work that we do.”
During the event, volunteers from SEYA and LAMP Community Health Centre helped out with games, a fashion show and activities for the kids.
“It is a real sense of community,” said Karmody. “People here know who the volunteers are and call us for help with different events.”
Student Tanya Shaw said she enjoys working with seniors and residents who require help.
“This is a pretty good event and it’s fun to be here to help others,” Shaw told Share. “I get very excited when I give back to the community.”
Shaw was working as a stage manager during the day-long event that featured local hip hop artists.
Jeffrey Greaves said he didn’t expect to be recognized for helping others.
“I volunteer to give back and not to be rewarded,” he said. “It is just a good thing to help others.”
Shantaya James said she never gets tired of volunteering.
“When you volunteer you learn about leadership and get to make new friends,” said Shaw. “It is something that I always enjoyed doing.”
Student Stephanie Cole said volunteering comes naturally to her.
“There are a lot of people that I have seen but never met,” she said. “It’s nice to get out and do something for the community.”
Michelle Lewis, one of the event organizers, said volunteers play an important role.
“We are promoting community spirit and recognizing residents who help others,” she said. “People help each other and have a real sense of community here.”
Resident Amber Morley said volunteering allows her to be part of the community.
“We love our community and we are here to celebrate,” said Morley. “There are great people here who are doing wonderful things and we thank them.”
The volunteers are taken on field trips, ball games and recognized at a LAMP event.