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Children Believe Volunteer Spotlight: Q&A with Adam

POSTED April 18, 2023

Children Believe Volunteer Spotlight: Q&A with Adam

The National Volunteer Week theme for 2023 is Volunteering Weaves Us Together. Today we’re celebrating our long-time volunteer Adam Kruszynski, see what motivates him and how he is creating an impact in the world.

By Danielle Daley, digital community coordinator, Canada

We all live very busy lives and the idea of volunteering time may seem like an impossible task. Many organizations rely on the generosity of volunteers to help sustain their mission which helps people in need in local and global communities. Benefits for the volunteer can range from mental and physical health, a boost of self-esteem and connecting with likeminded individuals that helps create a sense of purpose. Volunteering can help our community in so many ways.

Just ask Adam, as someone who has contributed to Children Believe’s mission as a volunteer for five years. We spoke with him to learn more about his journey with Children Believe and what moves him to give back to our community.

What inspires you to volunteer at Children Believe?

I have a very long-time relationship with volunteering especially for (lower-income countries), since my teenage years. I would do a lot of volunteering with different organizations such as USC Canada and World Vision. As I started working for these organizations, one of the things I learned is that how they run their program matters and how they spend their money matters. For example, one of the reasons I wanted to invest in Children Believe, not necessarily financially but with a lot of my time is because of how you partner with NGOS and because of how efficient you are. You send more money to the field and you partner with local NGOs, rather than have your own staff to run programs there.

Tell us about your role as a Children Believe volunteer?

The first time I volunteered was when you had a Chief of Operations named Tim D’Souza, who I met when I was volunteering for USC Canada when I was in my early 20s and we ran a fundraising chapter. What Tim wanted and later when Paskwa took over was more like expert consulting or leadership training. So what I end up doing is take 5% of my billable time in the span of 6 months and I would give it to a non-profit organization. The services that I would typically sell to clients, I gave away for free to Children Believe. That included consulting, agile training (certified training provided to the IT team), help with the RFP, an innovation initiative that I also did some consulting and assistance on. I would come in, sometimes on site or via phone and provide advice.

Have you had any unique experiences while volunteering here?

There was one other interesting activity that I participated in it was at the beginning of COVID, when I got to know a lot of the leaders at Children Believe. When COVID hit, they needed a strategy on how to move forward and I ran a workshop it made it into the press. And when you ask Children Believe leaders what they would remember me for… it was probably that workshop!

Since then, there was specific times when Paskwa or someone else would reach out and say they need help with smaller projects. And there was one time when your organization needed an IT audit and again I donated some of my time to help another vendor complete the audit.

A lot of non-profits would say that they have limited resources, limited budget and that’s why rather than donating money, I would rather donate my time. I find I can provide more value.

What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?

I would say in my context, I like the people there and it’s not just because I worked with some of them. I just like the group of people that you have, you have people that are very passionate not only that, but people that are also very skilled.

You choose to run your organization in a way that maximizes how much money you send to the field and to the benefactors. Everyone has their own funds to field ratio, so the fact that you value that it very apparent and I look for that. Its not just about growing a bigger organization, it’s about “how can I better serve the people there.” The organizations values, how they behave and make decisions are all something I look for and the leaders that I have worked with here are very selfless so it aligns well.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from volunteering?

Volunteer not for what that experience is going to give to you, volunteer for the impact you can make in the world. Just like we donate money for the biggest impact, it’s the same thing with time. I think about it like this, “what gives the most value and what’s going to make the biggest impact.” I think that’s more important than thinking, “how convenient it this experience for me?”

There are a lot of things that are inconvenient when I’m providing services to non-profits and it would be much more convenient to send a cheque but focus on what creates impact and not what’s convenient.

What motivates you to give back to the community?

Oh that’s easy! I grew up very poor, so I have a lot of empathy for people. I’m also an immigrant so I look at the life in Canada versus the life of somebody in other countries and that’s what motivates me. I’ve lived hungry, I’ve lived having very little so that’s why I want to invest time and help others.

What would you say to others looking to volunteer?

A lot of millennials primarily think that the way to engage with non-profits is to donate. So, what I would want to tell them is that you can actually leverage your strengths, your talents in volunteering and volunteering is a much broader way to help than just donating. There are so many ways you can help that connects with who you are and makes a tremendous impact that’s not just about the money. I would encourage people to seek out organizations where they can excel themselves and create a lot of impact with those talents and skills!

We are so grateful to Adam for his time, talents and passion to give back to our global community. Volunteers strengthen our mission and enrich the fabric of our community, as Adam says giving back in this way can have a great impact on the world. Our volunteers are truly amazing and we appreciate the time and effort we’ve received along the way. If you’re considering volunteering, like Adam said ask yourself which causes you’re passionate about and what skill set you can offer. Understanding both means you’re more likely to enjoy and stay committed to the work. Good luck and make sure you have fun too!

Contact us if you would like to get involved and become a Children Believe volunteer today.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

About ChildFund Alliance:

A member of ChildFund Alliance, Children Believe is part of a global network of child-focused development organizations working to create opportunities for children and youth, their families and communities. ChildFund helps nearly 23-million children and their families in 70 countries overcome poverty and underlying conditions that prevent children from achieving their full potential. We work to end violence against children; provide expertise in emergencies and disasters to ease the harmful impact on children and their communities; and engage children and youth to create lasting change and elevate their voices in decisions that affect their lives.

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