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The Power of Giving Back: What Inspired Me to Volunteer

Updated: Feb 5

Volunteers putting their hands together while working together

Telling stories weaves a narrative of passion, purpose and commitment. We were inspired by two of our volunteers and they have allowed us to spotlight their stories on why they became CCAT volunteers.

Meet Bianca and Mary Jo, two longtime volunteers whose stories embody why taking climate action as a CCAT volunteer is important to them. Their stories shed light on the collective power we possess to shape a sustainable future and remind us that each volunteer brings a unique and invaluable perspective to our shared mission.

Bianca's Story:

 I'm Bianca Creek, and my husband Gene and I made the decision to retire to Collingwood in February 2020. Having been involved in volunteer work throughout my life, I wasted no time in seeking out opportunities to contribute to our new community.

Shortly after our move, I discovered an information evening hosted by CCAT, which piqued our interest. Excited by what we heard and saw that evening, we added our names to their mailing list with thoughts about getting involved. Unfortunately, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic brought everything to a standstill, and my plans for volunteering took a backseat.

In the fall of that year, while working on a proposal for outdoor composters in our condo, I reached out to CCAT for assistance. This is when I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Jo. Grateful for her support with my proposal, when Mary Jo extended an invitation to join her working group I said yes; and that marked the beginning of my journey as a CCAT volunteer.

For me, the fight against climate change is deeply personal. I am driven by the desire to secure a healthy planet for my children and grandchildren. While recognizing the pivotal roles of governments and industries, I also firmly believe in the power of the individual. Each of us can contribute to making a difference, and it's this collective impact that shapes the legacy I hope to leave.

I invite you to join us on this meaningful journey, as together, we strive to create a positive difference in our community.

Mary Jo's Story:

My introduction to CCAT came in late 2019 when I reluctantly attended a presentation on energy. The weather was beautiful, and I had reservations about its potential interest. Positioned near the door, ready to make a quick escape, I was pleasantly surprised to find the presentation captivating. I stayed until the end and eagerly added my name to the email list.

In February 2020, just before the world shut down, CCAT organized an evening to showcase their various working groups. I randomly chose a table, which happened to be the Consumption & Waste Management display – a team without a lead at the time. While they mentioned the need for someone to take charge, I hesitated, feeling uncertain about my knowledge in the field. Nevertheless, the night proved to be invaluable, offering insights into writing impactful letters, improving energy efficiency, exploring alternate transportation, and introducing the Carbon Calculator.

[Speaking of which, if you haven't calculated your carbon footprint, I highly recommend it – it's truly eye-opening!]

With the onset of COVID, like many, I grappled with concerns about the state of the world. A turning point came when a cousin shared a link to John Krasinski's "Some Good News," featuring graduating high school students full of hope for the future. That moment spurred me into action, and on that very day, I called and committed to becoming an active volunteer. Taking the lead of the immediately renamed Trash Talkin’ Team, I embraced the role wholeheartedly and haven't looked back since.

Thank you to Bianca and Mary Jo for sharing their stories with us and their continued commitment as invaluable volunteers! Our ability to carry out our mission relies heavily on the contributions of volunteers and we are so grateful for our wonderful, growing community.

Want to learn more about being a CCAT volunteer?


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