Changing the world is a big deal. However, I wanted to think small. Yes, our entire life we are told to dream big, but the notion of thinking small can still have a huge impact.

By Margaret Todoroska

In our Grade 8 geography class at Joseph Howe Sr. Public School we are learning about the UN Global Goals. The United Nations has chosen 17 goals for sustainable development that it plans to solve by 2030. One is poverty, another is zero hunger, another is gender equality, and so on. My teacher gave us the task to choose one goal that we want to solve, make a plan on how to solve it and potentially do it.

There is so much we can change in the world that I could come up with millions of ideas. However, I could not figure out the one I was going to do. Then my grandpa said, “You need to make something that is worth it.” My grandma followed up with the words “think simpler.” That is when it hit me. Too many of us were thinking too grand. Our entire life we were told to think big, dream big, bigger is better, but I had to rethink that. So I came up with the notion of thinking small. If I could think small, then I wouldn’t worry about global or national for now, I would focus on local. This pairs up with global goal number 11: sustainable cities and communities.

Then I thought, what can I do for my community? The answer is to volunteer! That is my action plan, to create a stronger community through volunteering and supporting it. I decided that I would pick three places to volunteer and witness the difference I could make to prove my plan.

Volunteer Mission 1: One of my favourite places to help out is in food banks. I went to one of our local food banks and dropped off some canned goods and non-perishable food items. I know that I supplied a meal for someone in our community.

Volunteer Mission 2: I volunteered at the Charlottetown Winter Fair. I got together with three friends and had a great day with our amazing community. There were so many volunteers there who made the day possible and because of them our community was impacted very positively.

Volunteer Mission 3: One place my sibling volunteers is at Centenary Hospital. She is the one who inspired me on my volunteer mission. She has done more than 300 hours of volunteering and still continues to add to that.

So how did I do? The way I measure an impact is like this: 1. help somebody, 2. make people happy, and 3. create a lasting impact.

First of all, through volunteering I did help many people. I helped provide a meal, helped set up a fun community day, and my sibling gave time to help around the hospital. Second, through these three events I saw lots of smiles and happiness. Third, my impact will last. I know that people will remember how we helped them on those days. Not only that but it is something that had an impact on us, too. We realized how little we had to do to make a change.

I think we should all be volunteering around our community. The Centennial community is already a very strong one, but we can always make things better. I think we can achieve Global Goal 11 in no time.

In 2017 Margaret Todoroska was a 13-year-old Grade 8 student at Joseph Howe Sr. Public School.