Written by: Serena Li
Date: February 9, 2022
Raunik Sahota is a long-time volunteer with Youth Rising Foundation. He already has a story that was shared previously on Captain Scott Legacy’s website. Turns out, he’s got more to share and Captain Scott is ready to amplify his volunteer voice once again.
Raunik began volunteering with the local non-profit Youth Rising Foundation because he was seeking a community to embrace him, having been a person that moved around a lot. However, his love for volunteering has actually expanded from the social interactions he gains from serving others. What matters to him is the meeting of minds when he can empower others with knowledge of a cause, and a sense of confidence to contribute. That being said, people still surprise him sometimes and he still continues to learn about all the ways that people can show up for their communities.
Raunik enjoys helping people find ways to belong and support their fellow community members. His belief in the power of community flourished during a particular bottle drive fundraiser to support the firefighters and paramedics battling the June 2021 forest fires in Lytton, BC. Originally, he had his doubts that a simple bottle drive would make a big enough
impact, but he put in effort to ask people to help anyway. To his surprise, he ran into a huge donation from a family member who had a huge stash of cans in his garage.
“If I never asked, I would have never known [that the person had so much to contribute]. Don’t be afraid to ask. If it’s for a cause [that might be important to them], they’ll likely want to help in whatever way they can,” remarks Raunik.
He wants to remind both aspiring volunteers and veteran volunteers that people often need some help discovering what to care about, and are waiting for a way that they can do their part. In his volunteer experience, he learned to not be biased and reach out to as many people as he can to help out. Doing so provides people the chance to realize the individual capacity they have as critical changemakers.
Raunik (left) with his friend Matthew (right) at a clean up event.
Word spread about the bottle drive fundraiser and managed to reach Andrew Morancy, a former Lytton, BC paramedic who was on location at the disaster site organizing funds to directly support fire victims and those on the front lines. Mr. Morancy called Youth Rising out on social media, praising and thanking them for doing what they could to support from afar. The appreciation post developed into an unexpected partnership. This rewarding experience changed the way Raunik thought about small acts of kindness and the true positive impact they can make. His self-reflection from his experience resonates with a quote from the revered bishop, theologian, and human rights activist, Desmond Tutu, who once said:
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
- Desmond Tutu