I’ve always loved Star Wars and comic book culture. Growing up, it was easy to admire these heroes for their extraordinary abilities and always saving the day. Although I might not have superpowers of my own, it’s nice to know that I have the power to make someone’s day a little brighter.
I was raised to always look for ways to better myself and I knew I could do more. So, I found a way to combine my love of superheroes with my passion for helping others. Luckily for me, I’m part of a company that strongly believes in giving back to its community. Among the number of community investment initiatives TELUS puts forward, the Dollars for Doers program has been so helpful. Just by tallying my volunteer hours, TELUS donates directly to my charities of choice. It motivates me and my peers to pursue the causes we’re most passionate about and continue to give back to our communities.
The 501st Legion is a volunteer organization where members design and build their own movie-grade Star Wars-themed costumes to raise donations at events and for other charitable endeavours. In 2002, after getting involved with 501st Legion, I began volunteering with a similar group, the League of Superheroes. These organizations couldn’t have been a better match for me.
Hospitals have always been one of my favourite places to visit while volunteering with the League of Superheroes – you’re almost guaranteed to bring much-needed smiles. Most patients could use a little cheering up, especially the kids who happen to be stuck sick in a hospital bed instead of playing with their friends.
During one memorable hospital visit, where I donned my Iron Man armour, I recall the smile I put on one child’s face as we walked down the hallway together. I spent a few hours in the suit and the heat contained within the foam costume was starting to get to me, but I couldn’t help to think that it was nothing compared to the long-term sacrifices that this child had to make during a time that should have been much happier. No matter how hot the suit got, I was more than happy to patrol the corridors with my brave little sidekick with me.
Every time I suit up there are memorable moments just like this one. I’ve helped grant children’s wishes and managed to give many people a little more hope through some light-hearted fun. There are few things in life that that can give you this sense of satisfaction.
Whether it’s while I am at work or when I am volunteering, I am always pushing myself. When you expect more from yourself, it’s easy to bring a smile to someone’s face.