In honour of National Volunteer Week (April 21st-27th) we’ve asked one of our volunteers to write about her experience working with PCYI. Meet Arsela, who has worked with PCYI on both research and Enrolled by 6 projects

I used to work next door to Peel Children & Youth Initiative and always walked by their main entrance door and wondered what the organization was about and what they did exactly. Being intrigued, one day I actually had the guts to speak to a very tall refined man who I would always see go in and out of the organization. He happened to be the Executive Director of PCYI. A very knowledgeable and charismatic person, by the way! Mr. Graham Clyne was very welcoming and supportive of my inquiry to know more about the organization. At the end of our conversation I expressed my interest to volunteer and that is how it all started. Very soon I met with the rest of the PCYI team. There are no words to describe how wonderful this team is. Compliments to those recruiting the staff!

Volunteering at PCYI has been one of the greatest experiences. PCYI’s initiatives are really remarkable and for those volunteering it offers unforgettable experiences. Talking to families with children and sharing information about the various services available to them and seeing the joy and happiness in their faces gives you a great sense of satisfaction. It makes you feel like you’re actually changing someone’s life or at least making it easier for them by sharing helpful information and making them aware of the services available to them and their children in the Peel Region. Another great benefit as volunteering for PCYI is an opportunity that is given to you to work in partnership with other organizations with a focus on children and youth and many influential people in Peel.

Looking at the bigger picture, by getting engaged, not only do you help individual families and their children, but you also contribute and help the Peel Region itself. Sometimes we get carried away with our busy lives and forget about the little things we could do which can change someone else’s life. After my experience with PCYI I promised myself that no matter what I would still be involved somehow, whether I had a full-time job, family and/or any school obligations. It feels great to be part of the change! It is great to influence the change!

95Arsela Hoxhaj is a PCYI volunteer, currently working as a Continuing Professional Development Coordinator at the Ontario College of Family Physicians. Arsela obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 2006 in Political Science and International Relations and a Master’s degree in 2012 in Public Policy, Administration & Law from York University. She has completed an internship with the European Union in an initiative to fight the trading and exploiting of human beings (human trafficking). During the war in Kosovo in 1999 she volunteered to help displaced families and their children to recover from the war trauma by engaging in several initiatives. She has a passion to help children and women who fall victims of domestic violence.

Arsela talks about what it means to volunteer with @PCYI_Org