PCC Celebrates National Volunteer Week: Varaagy's Story

Each year, Peel Children’s Centre counts on the efforts of more than 100 specially trained volunteers. As mentors, tutors, drivers, childcare workers, respite providers and fundraising assistants, our volunteers are critical to the success of our programs. We join with the rest of Canada’s volunteer sector to celebrate and thank our volunteers during National Volunteer Week. Keep reading to learn more about Varaagy and her role as a childcare volunteer.

Varaagy graduated from McMaster University with a Health Studies degree, but it was her minor in Psychology that piqued her interest in children’s mental health. While completing the online Children’s Mental Health certificate program offered by Durham College, Varaagy decided that volunteering at a children’s mental health agency would be a great way to complement her studies. Having grown up in Peel, Varaagy wanted to volunteer her time locally, and that led her to Peel Children’s Centre (PCC).

Her first experience as a volunteer with PCC was working one-on-one with a four-year-old girl with ADHD. “It was lots of fun,” recalls Varaagy, who also credits the little girl with teaching her how to be flexible, a skill she continues to use in her role as a childcare volunteer.

When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering, Varaagy says, “I like helping others see the best in themselves.” She adds that early intervention and building resiliency are important aspects of supporting children with mental health challenges, and that she’s proud to help the young children in her care improve their self-confidence.

To those who are thinking about volunteering, Varaagy says not to be intimidated by the time commitment. “The time flies, the hours are flexible, and the experience makes you appreciate what you have in your own life,” she says, adding that volunteering can also open doors to career opportunities and make people more aware of important social issues. She adds that a positive attitude is all you need to volunteer with children. “A positive attitude is contagious, and with it you can really make a difference.”

If you are interested in becoming a part of our volunteer programs at PCC, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Linda Buchanan, at 905-795-3500 ext. 2260 or use the online form available on our website.

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