Volunteering is a Source of Inspiration and Purpose

Volunteering is a Source of Inspiration and Purpose

Born and raised in Langley, Brayden Griffiths moved to the Okanagan in 2022 to start medical school at UBCO and he is already making a difference to our community through his fulfilling volunteer work.

“My journey into volunteering began with a genuine passion for working with children and contributing to the community,” says Brayden. “My interest in healthcare and pediatrics led me to explore opportunities aligned with these goals. Discovering the Reading Bear Society and its mission to promote early literacy and healthy living in children through intergenerational mentorship resonated strongly with my aspirations.”

Brayden is co-chair of the Kelowna Chapter of the Reading Bear Society, whose overarching mission and vision is promoting early literacy and healthy living in children through intergenerational mentorship. The program strengthens empathy and compassion and its motto “Educating the Heart-Mind,” reflects the organization’s commitment to fostering both emotional and intellectual growth in children.

Brayden is particularly excited about the “A Visit to Dr. Bear” program which allows children to explore healthy living through facts, story time, and play. The interactive stories have medical students use teddy bears to demonstrate common procedures that children might experience at a doctor’s office.

“I was drawn to the idea of using the program “A Visit to Dr. Bear” as a creative and educational way to introduce children to the concept of visiting the doctor and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” explains Brayden. “As the co-chair of the Kelowna chapter, my role involves overseeing the local implementation of the program, coordinating volunteers, and working towards achieving the organization’s mission within our community.”

The project was founded by Dr. Joanne Roussy, President of the provincial Reading Bear Society. Her belief that every child has equal value and that nurturing in early childhood is the foundation for overall life health is core to the program, emphasizing the importance of early literacy and support for vulnerable families.

“One key aspect worth highlighting is the program’s multidisciplinary and interprofessional approach, bringing together volunteers with diverse backgrounds, including physicians, medical students, educators, academics, and community members,” adds Brayden. “This collaborative effort ensures a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing the needs of children and families in the Kelowna area.”

Volunteering is a source of inspiration and purpose for Brayden, and he isn’t new to giving back to community in this way. He has also volunteered with the Langley Pos-Abilities Society, serving as Vice-President and Director of Volunteers, and as a volleyball coach and as a clinical researcher.

“Volunteering holds deep significance for interconnected reasons,” explains Brayden. “Firstly, I am motivated by a genuine passion for making a positive impact on the lives of others, particularly children. Contributing to community well-being aligns with my personal values and provides a sense of purpose and fulfillment.”

“Secondly, my desire to pursue a career in pediatric medicine fuels my commitment to volunteering. Working with children through initiatives like “A Visit to Dr. Bear” program enables me to gain valuable insights into the unique needs and challenges of young individuals,” adds Brayden. “This hands-on experience complements my academic studies and strengthens my understanding of the holistic aspects of healthcare.”

“And thirdly, volunteering offers a platform for continuous learning and skill development,” concludes Brayden. “Whether it’s leadership, communication, or organizational skills, each volunteer role provides an opportunity to grow personally and professionally.”

The sense of community and connection that volunteering fosters is a powerful motivator for Brayden. For him, working alongside like-minded individuals who share a commitment to positive change creates a supportive and collaborative environment. The resulting network enhances the effectiveness of the initiatives undertaken and truly builds community.

What is your motivator? Can volunteering help connect you to “your people”? Find out by searching for your volunteer opportunity at www.volunteerconnector.org or contact us at www.kcr.ca.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Translate »