“Offer the help you can.”
We are extremely grateful to our volunteer, Ravil Jaleev, for his long-term commitment to the British Columbia Mobility Opportunities Society (BCMOS) these past four years. Each summer, Ravil volunteers in the BCMOS padding program at False Creek near Science World in Vancouver. He uses his kayaking experience to accompany clients on BCMOS’ adapted kayaking equipment. Together, they paddle around False Creek, providing each with an amazing opportunity to enjoy the world-class scenery that this location has to offer. His sincerity and generosity are obvious, as helping others has been important in his life. Each Saturday this summer, Ravil returns to BCMOS padding to volunteer. We are fortunate to have committed volunteers like Ravil who return each summer!
Ravil started volunteering with BCMOS four years ago after hearing positive recommendations from other volunteers. He says that it didn’t take much convincing, as it was clear to him that kayaking with BCMOS was an amazing opportunity to help other people and get out on the water. Ravil says it is easy to show up each week because he can ride his bike, run, or walk to the BCMOS False Creek hub. After kayaking for a few hours, he then goes for a run around the seawall too! Ravil says that volunteering with BCMOS motivates him to get out each weekend and do some physical activity while surrounded by the picturesque views that False Creek has to offer.
Ravil is clearly a very active person! However, he says that volunteering with BCMOS is very accessible for everyone. He describes the programs as well organized and run by all the BCMOS staff. Although Ravil chooses to volunteer each week, he says that the time commitment is flexible and adaptable depending on each person’s needs. Ravil also says that volunteers can have any level of paddling experience because operating the adapted kayaks is very safe. Also, the BCMOS staff provide volunteers with lots of support to make sure that everyone has a safe and great time on the water! Choosing to volunteer with BCMOS is easy because it does not require a lot of time or physical demands and it is a “super uplifting experience.”
Ravil shares that “the benefits [of volunteering] are just enormous!” For instance, when asked about why he returns each summer, he talks about all the positive experiences that he has had meeting different clients. Although each client has a different situation, Ravil is inspired by their resilience. It is clear that he cares deeply about the clients. He realizes through conversations with those who are recovering from an injury that getting back to fun and recreational activities can be very important in restoring positive self-esteem and optimism. A common thread amongst all the individual stories, Ravil recalls, is that “no matter how [the clients] get into this spot,” he enjoys seeing them “work through it [and] find strength in themselves.”
Another aspect of meeting BCMOS clients that Ravil finds rewarding is witnessing their pleasure in being on the water. Ravil shares that their pleasure “is contagious!” Being part of an experience that improves how people feel about themselves and allows them to “have full enjoyment” of life gives Ravil a very positive feeling. At the end of a long, hard week at work, meeting with the clients always energizes and inspires him.
Because he returns each year, Ravil gets to know some of the clients over time. He adds that “seeing people overcome seemingly impossible challenges” sticks with him. They inspire him to feel more optimistic about the challenges in his own life. These moments and experiences are what makes volunteering with BCMOS feel good for everyone involved.
For Ravil, volunteering with BCMOS is about helping others because “mutual help spreads in waves.” Ravil recalls that during his darkest moments, it was the help of people who recognized that he was going through a difficult time and reached out that made a huge difference. It was these moments that taught him an outlook that he carries forward. He lives by a principle to “offer the help you can.” By doing so, he “pays back” the help that he received during those times. This can make the world a better place even in small ways, like one paddling trip at a time!
Thank you, Ravil, for your dedication to BCMOS paddling these past four years! We are so lucky to have you on our team of dedicated volunteers. We admire your commitment and generosity, and we are sincerely grateful to have you with BCMOS.
Interested in getting outside this summer and trying something new? Follow Ravil’s advice by joining BCMOS at the Creekside Paddling Centre this summer. As he says, you’ll join a friendly and committed community of volunteers with our summer programs while paddling in False Creek. Simply put, once you try it out, “the rest is history!”
Learn more and sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.