If you want something done, ask a busy Gitxsan woman from Gitanmaax in northern British Columbia.
Laura Hockman is a member of the Wolf clan. Her maternal grandmother was hereditary chief of the Wolf Clan and her maternal grandfather, hereditary chief of the Frog Clan. Hockman has lived in Lake Country since 1997.
When she’s not teaching at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan in Kelowna, or working as Executive Director for Independent Living Vernon, Hockman volunteers her time wherever and whenever she can.
From Hockman’s perspective:
“It’s really about connection. The connection to new people and the issues they face. It’s about trying to help various people and being able to learn from others. This is what drives me to get involved. One of my biggest goals is to hear, see and experience different perspectives, knowledge and ways of being.
“I like being able to see the world in totally different ways and I’m also giving back to a community that gives me so much. I love how volunteering makes me feel.”
During October and November, Hockman and husband, Michael Glover, joined Lake Country’s Royal Canadian Legion in Oyama to help fundraise with Remembrance Day poppies.
“Helping the Legion is another interest that’s really close to Michael and I. He served in the military and is from a military family like mine is. We naturally wanted to get involved to help out and that’s a big part of my life. It felt so great to get out there and meet people. Many weren’t even aware there is a Legion club in Oyama.”
Hockman also volunteers as a member of the District of Lake Country Access and Age Friendly Committee whose role is to advise council on access issues to district services for people of all ages and with all types of abilities.
Although volunteering during a pandemic definitely presents its challenges, Hockman views volunteerism as a powerful way to stay connected, feel less alone, and share a common goal with others.
Like most volunteers, Hockman doesn’t receive any money or incentives for the volunteer work she does. At the end of the day, she’s happy being recognized and included as a community member whether that be through word of mouth, mentioned in a newsletter or featured in a published story like this one.
Hockman’s advice for anyone considering volunteering,
“Choose something that really speaks to and means something to you. Then find ways to get involved. When groups ask for volunteers, sometimes it takes courage to take that first step. If you do, the rewards can be so powerful. You really can make some awesome connections.”
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