Today I left my house at 6:30am to volunteer. Yes, you read that correctly. I left my house at 6:30am, which means I was already up by 5am, showering and getting dressed to head out to the event. It’s been years since I’ve woken that early to volunteer for a special city event. Last time I was this crazy was in 2009 when I volunteered for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. My volunteer shift started at a brutal time of 4am, but thank goodness I had an insane and dedicated friend who was willing to come and volunteer with me!

Surprisingly, I was wide awake by 6:30am this morning despite having only three hours of sleep the night before. My friends and I met up at a skytrain station and shortly made our way to the Hats Day Off pancake breakfast venue! Hats Day Off is an annual event for merchants in the Burnaby Heights region to “take their hats off” to the community and celebrate with one another. There is a parade, a mountain bike competition, and lots of extraordinary activities for everyone to enjoy throughout the day.

This morning we volunteered for Burnaby Community Connections, a non-profit organization that helps connect people with resources in their community. We helped them with the Pancake Breakfast, allowing them to raise funds for their Burnaby Camping Bureau, a program that provides the opportunity for low-income children to attend summer day camps. Throughout the day, I met some awesome people. One lady who I was volunteering with brought her family to help out as well. Something interesting about her family was that they had an adopted 7-year old daughter from China (mother was Caucasian) and a home-stay student from Japan living with them. Both were absolutely adorable; talking to them and learning about their lives made the hours go by quickly.

I would have to say that my favourite part of volunteering at any function has to be meeting different kinds of people! I had a fun time at the Hats Day Off event, serving pancakes and talking to folks in the community. Although I did have to sacrifice a portion of my beauty sleep, I do think it’s always worth it in the end. Now it’s your turn to decide – would you rather sleep for a couple of hours or go out, experience something new and have amazing conversations? It’s all up to you to live your life!

** And a special thanks to Burnaby Community Connections for letting us be apart of your team for the day! **