Do you know a special volunteer that has given back to his/her community? Is that special person younger than expected?
From time to time we get requests to acknowledge youth volunteers. With pleasure we share the story of Harnoor Gill.
I am a retired elementary school principal from Dunnville who moved to the Georgetown area in May of 2009. Having taught elementary school for over 30 years. I can say that from time to time I have been privileged to teach some amazing young people who have already had a significant impact on many aspects of the community, province and country and quite possibly beyond.
It was not long after moving here that I heard about Harnoor Gill from others who knew of him or had read articles he had had published in the local paper. In 2010, I offered my services as a volunteer to the Halton Hills Big Daddy Festival to be held on Fathers’ Day weekend. I was aware that Harnoor Gill was involved but regrettably our paths did not connect because he was at a different location.
In 2010 I was stunned to learn that this young man who was so active in so many ways in the community was a Grade 7 student at Stewarttown Public School. Fascinated that this person had published articles and had many hours of volunteer service was so young. I knew I must establish a connection with him. To that point well into 2010 and early 2011 my only communication had been by email but that was soon to change. After several emails it finally happened but not until September 29th 2011.
Harnoor was involved with a significant display at the Georgetown Market Place Mall assisting in P.O.W.E.R. and the Halton Peel BioDiversity Network for the launch of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s traveling exhibit Waterscapes. I was anxious to meet this Grade 8 student in person and had the chance to chat with his mother as well. I am still completely in awe of the passion, dedication, intelligence and outreach that he demonstrates on a daily basis. Few adults can come close to achieving in their significantly longer life, the degree of service to the community than Harnoor has given in his 13 years. I will endeavour to briefly touch on some of the ways he has already served his community and the area.
His environmental concerns have drawn him to the above-mentioned Waterscapes display as well as a tree plating festival October 2011 in Glen Williams. I have only given you a small picture of his eco activities here.
He has been active in supporting the 2010 and the 2011 Big Daddy Festival in Halton Hills. He has contributed over a thousand (1000) volunteer service hours with many organizations and events. He is student leader at his school and is actively involved and plays a leadership role with the local environmental groups such as Willow Park Ecology Centre, POWER and a student member of environmental sub-committee of the Sustainable Committee of Town of Halton Hills. He inspires others to take positive steps through his articles and stories that have been published locally and internationally. His message to the youth is that age is no longer a barrier to volunteer and 40 hours of community work to fulfill the requirement of Ontario High School Diploma is not the end. We all can make a big difference! He holds three (3) leadership positions and is founding member of the Green Team at his school. Youth Caucus at POWER Halton, Youth volunteer leader at Willow Park. He is a committed activist, published author and volunteer. He wants to be a “role model“ for youth by setting an example which clearly shows that ‘if I can do it you can do it too!’. He doesn’t see volunteering forty community hours as a part of the Ontario High School Diploma requirement as an inconvenience, instead as a tool for making a difference and attempting to change the world.
It is so gratifying to see someone so young taking such an active role in bettering his community and surroundings. I have only given a short report on this special young Canadian. There will be more to come for sure. `Look out folks, Harnoor Gill is on his way!!
Do you know a special person you would like to write about?
Send us your submission for consideration.