Every year Community Living Mississauga’s Summer Teen Activity program is lucky to have dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers share their talents and skills with the individuals supported. This year, with the regulations of COVID-19 and guidelines for gatherings, we were not able to have volunteers in our in-person program but we didn’t want to lose that current of positive energy that each volunteer brings to the Summer Teen Activity Program. Thankfully, the volunteers were eager to take the leap into the world of virtual support with us.
Each week four volunteers eagerly join our virtual sessions to encourage, connect and engage with the teens while exploring the world through virtual tours, discovering art through hands on activities and burning off energy through dance and yoga classes. The teens and their families welcome the volunteers into the virtual sessions and often ask the volunteers to join them again for another week. The Virtual Summer Teen Program staff consider the volunteers to be valuable additions to the team and a great source of positive energy for the teens.
One volunteer, Justin, who has had the experience of volunteering in person in past years expressed what he has enjoyed the most from his volunteer experience this year:
“Being able to see familiar faces as well as meet new ones has been an amazing experience these past two weeks. Being able to share experiences about our lives and have fun, especially during a time like this, is important. In the midst of all that’s going on in the world, it’s really nice to be able to be a part of community”
Despite the challenges faced by many in the summer of 2020, our Virtual Summer Teen Program demonstrates how success can be achieved through the positive actions of everyone involved.