2020 is here, and what a year we have ahead.
We’re at the beginning of a new decade. 2019 was a historic year of changes: disability discourse swelled to new heights. Awareness bloomed, and dynamic changes in workplace diversity and inclusion thrived.
As everyone’s 2020 New Year’s resolutions are lining up, the question on a lot of people’s minds is “how can I make a difference this year?”
Unsurprisingly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Everyone can make an extraordinary difference in an immeasurable amount of ways every day. This goal is what drives society forward and changes the world year after year: to try and somehow leave the world a better place than we found it.
One of the best ways to do this is through volunteering.
Why should I volunteer?
For many people, it can be difficult to articulate the reasons they volunteer their time, but the goal to make a difference is one that many of us share, and an incredibly important one at that too, explains Mandy Brydon, EPIC’s Volunteer Coordinator.
“Volunteers bring a different perspective. They bring their own lived experiences that others can relate to, and in turn be inspired by. It can be a natural, personalised and nurturing way to make connections with others who may not have a support network around them,” says Mandy.
When you volunteer you not only leave an impact on your own life, but also on the lives of those your volunteering touches and the community around them. Every act, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference.
This is something we’re incredibly passionate about at EPIC Assist (EPIC).
Throughout our journey with volunteering and community involvement, we’ve discovered how valuable a simple helping hand can be in transforming a person’s life.
That’s why we started our ambassador program in 2018 – to build a community of dedicated volunteers who are committed to making a difference to the lives of people with disability.
“Our EPIC ambassadors have a profound impact on many people, including our teams and most importantly people with disability. They are volunteering because they have a genuine desire to spend time with others, listen, support, and encourage in any way they can,” says Mandy.
This is how so many of our ambassadors choose to make a difference each year – by supporting people with disability, their families, loved ones, and their community to reach their goals and realise what’s possible.
So, how can I make a difference in 2020?
In a world overflowing with change, it can be difficult to know where to start, but making a difference doesn’t have to be complicated.
“Making a difference is as simple as having a positive impact on someone. Encourage people around you to realise what is possible and help them strive to achieve their goals and dreams,” says Mandy.
If our ambassador program has taught us anything, it’s that everyone can make a difference every day in so many different ways.
To get you started on your journey, we’ve used our unique experience as a not-for-profit to put together a list of our top 5 ways you can make a difference this year.
Small tasks have a big impact
We rarely need big things to make a difference. Making a difference is as simple as showing up and being there for someone. To the people and communities that you help your small impact is literally their entire world.
Share your smile
Happiness and kindness are two of the greatest gifts you can offer – and they cost nothing. A lot can be said without saying a word. Be an ear, listen to the people around you, offer a hand of support, or be a friend to share a smile with.
Follow your passions
We deliver our best work when we are passionate about what we are doing. The passion that each volunteer feels drives them to be better and do better. Volunteering is an opportunity to engage in something you love and care deeply about, whilst also having a meaningful impact on the community.
Be an advocate
Share the knowledge and experiences that you have gained with others to keep the chain going. The ability to make a long-term difference rests upon knowledge and action – be the voice that drives a change and helps transform a person’s life.
2020 is the year you choose to be involved in the world.
Many people live their life as a spectator sport, but there is so much more to living. In this new year, take the lead and inspire your friends and family to start doing something to make a difference.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child, imagine what we can achieve as a larger community. The benefits can be far-reaching, not just for the individual, but their family, friends and the entire community,” says Mandy.
This is what makes EPIC’s ambassador program so powerful and unique.
“Our ambassadors are carefully chosen to ensure they will have a rewarding experience during their time with us. We take the time to understand what our ambassadors would like to take away from the experience, so it is more than just volunteering.”
From volunteering at meet and greets, to offering mentorship, to lending a hand at community events such as our annual art exhibition, projects, and research, there are a plethora of opportunities to make a difference with EPIC in 2020.
If you’re ready to make a difference in 2020, check out our EPIC ambassador program to see how you can help make positive changes to the lives of people with disability.