Let's hear what our volunteers say...
Across U-hub has changed my outlook on life and has expanded my horizon to new ideas and perspectives in life, all thanks to the many volunteers and mentors at Across U-hub. Having these new perspectives reminds me of my past and the underlying reason for why I wanted to join Across in the first place. I came to Across U-hub looking to challenge myself and to improve myself as an individual; fortunately, Across provides a unique space to learn and grow through volunteering. Throughout the years, I both volunteered and participated in innovative programs, exploring who I am and having an idea of my strengths and weaknesses. Occasionally, I had situations present themselves that I had not dealt with before and this meant that there was plenty of room for improvement. In the near future at Across U-hub, I would like to take on more leading roles and perhaps help young people discover themselves more. Overall, I am proud to say that I have greatly improved in my “soft” skills and outlook in life, and have gained new ideas and perspectives as compared to before I joined Across.
Thank you Across U-hub for giving me this unique volunteer opportunity.
It was over 10 years ago I first stepped into Across U-hub as a university student, opening my eyes to a world that was never taught in school. As a Computer Science student who had always been strong academically, I was not as self-aware as I had thought especially in areas not covered in textbooks.
One of the things I realized was that I did not have much empathy and was not good at expressing my emotions. Unfortunately for me, learning to express myself emotionally and to be empathetic are not skills you can just learn from books and then apply to life. It must come from within. Through the holistic programs, retreats, and camps at Across U-hub, I explored my strengths and weaknesses in areas not taught in school and expanded my worldview. Then, by choice and with the help of mentors and peers, I learned to change from within. Although I can’t say I am now the most caring and expressive person, those who knew me from before can testify to my gradual transformation for the better. To this day, I am still an active volunteer at Across U-hub, continuously growing myself while helping the next generation grow
I joined Across U-hub for almost a year now, and I really enjoyed every event that I attended. I am part of the Marketing Team and the AV Team – photography, to be specific. Almost 90% of my role is related to doing photoshoots for events, such as the 2016 Gala, 2017 City Mosaic, Tree Planting, and various work for Crafteria. At each of these events, I gained tons of knowledge about the various events through talking to different people, as well as photography-specific knowledge, since every event had different environmental settings and I needed to adapt to them accordingly. Across U-hub can be a great place to learn, socialize, connect, and explore.
从2016年9月份到2017年10月份，在这段1年零1个月的时间内，包含了我从9年级开始至10年级在Across U-hub做义工的点滴和感想。如果要我说最难忘的回忆是什么，我想这不会是只有一个答案的问题，因为在Across U-hub有太多精彩而深刻的回忆了。我每每走进那大门时，都能听到美好的欢笑声以及很多哥哥姐姐们迎面而来的问候声。虽然我参加Across的起初目的是为了取得义工小时和完成必要任务，但是我渐渐地发现了在交错的失败和成功体验当中，我有了很多意外的收获。我尝试了很多同龄人未必有机会做的事情，并且从我身边的工作人员和哥哥姐姐们中，我学到了许多新鲜事。我是发自内心的开心能够成为Across 义工的一员。这个温馨地方对我有很多影响，我从一个内向以及不善于表达的人到勇敢完成一些我不擅长的事情和任务，都是Across U-hub 群体给了我勇气。我特别想提到那些照顾我的哥哥姐姐们，是他们的鼓励和支持，让我慢慢地变得不再害怕和紧张。他们会很细心以及努力地把每一个活动办到最好，我能感受到他们全心全意地投入精力在里面，并且不分日夜操劳。我想说一声谢谢Across U-hub，谢谢各位工作人员和哥哥姐姐们，我们的回忆会永存下去。
Hi, I am Evita, and this is my third year in Canada. I came to Canada from Hong Kong when I was 16, and I already knew about Across U-hub before I went to school. I have participated and volunteered in different activities at Across, and I am really grateful Across gave me so many opportunities to challenge and know more about myself.
Last year, I joined a drama workshop, led by a passionate drama teacher, Eudora, who had just come to Canada. The product of the workshop was “The Wanted”, which discussed the standards of being successful and the value of freedom. I have always been interested in theatre performances, and this one-time event gave me a really unique and memorable experience. I was looking forward to participate more in this area, as Across provides such a platform for people like me. However, unfortunately, Eudora passed away soon after the show ended. We all faced this shocking news together and decided that we would continue to try using drama as a medium through which people could express themselves. I am still on my way of exploration, but, through Across, I hope I can learn more about the society we are in right now and the people around us, and tell people about it. Across U-hub is not a place only for volunteering, but also a place to explore and experience.
記得第一次聽聞「Across U-hub」是因為一隻綠色封面的CD。在那蒲公英的承托下，封面上飄著「相傳有夢」四個字。年少無知的我只覺得這四個字聽起來既浪漫又神秘，與自己扯不上什麼關係。多年以後，經過無數的挫敗和考驗，終於開始明白「夢想」的意義和價值。在一場電視訪問裡認識到一位的老人家，訪問地點是他的木工工作室， 見他滿面笑容地對著鏡頭說：「我今年88歲，但我依然熱愛我的工作，每天起來仍然急不及待地走進工作室。」說這句話的人，正是美國戰後工藝史上不可或缺的木工大師 Sam Maloof。也許夢想就是對自己天賦的一種回應，對自我潛能的一種追求，是最廉價，也是最昂貴的滿足。這樣看來「相傳有夢」又是那麼用心良苦的一個概念。這個夏天，我有幸和 Across U-hub 合作，參與了Crafteria 這個很有意義的活動，讓我可以把自己正在萌芽的夢想，繼續傳承下去。我衷心感激他們所做一切，和他們所付出的代價，讓我們的夢想蒲公英，獲得了落地生根的土壤。
“Sandwich Run, Shoebox Part 1 and 2. Each word is simple on its own but awfully obscure when strung together. Seriously, how do you exactly run a sandwich? And the two parts to a shoebox: wouldn’t that be the box and the lid? As it turns out, they are codenames for James Bond missions, ugh I mean, Tic-Tac-Toronto (TTT) programs.
I got a chance to uncover what goes on below the surface of these exciting and meaningful programs when I first joined TTT planning committee in March this year. For example, Sandwich Run is a program where participants prepare and deliver sandwiches to homeless people in Toronto. Giving food is a simple gesture but it goes beyond that; it opens the door to which we can interact face to face with a homeless person. During planning and research I have come to understand homelessness, but it wasn’t until I spoke to a homeless person that I fully feel and relate to them. I learnt about their lives and struggles, and realized how similar we all are, despite our completely different housing situations.
Behind the scene, each program, including the Sandwich Run, is the fruit of hundred of man-hours in discussions, planning, brainstorming, and preparation by the TTT team, most of whom are volunteers with fulltime job or school. Weekly meetings can be taxing as the team generates ideas for the underlying theme and debates on how to best deliver the theme to our participants, in addition to the time spent on researching and preparing the material for the program. I was initially perplexed by the amount of energy and devotion of these volunteers, but I soon discover why – it’s their love for our city and its people.
It has been the mission of TTT to connect participants to our beloved city, Toronto. More importantly, TTT has enabled me to connect with myself through the exploration of my surrounding. I experienced it in my interaction with the homeless. I learn more about myself through working with the team. To this aspect, I think I can proudly say to my fellow TTT team – Mission accomplished.”