Harpreet and Jaspal Gill encouraged their son to reach out and volunteer when he ran into problems in his elementary school with youth who bullied him. He took his parents good advice, forgot himself and donated 1,000 volunteer hours with over 20 organizations. He overcame the problem and wants other youth to do likewise because as he says ‘it works’.
Wanting to do more Gill founded the Peace Welcome Club in Georgetown, in February 2012 because he and his family experienced what it meant to be new immigrants in Canada and want to make it easier for others.
The Club reaches out to young people in a special way. To date PCW’s activities consists of: sending more than 10,000 text books to local communities; collecting 2000 jeans for underprivileged youth in India and worldwide; nominating a ‘youth/youth group of the month who stands out because of their help to others; doing shoreline cleanups in local parks; and last but not least, running food drives for the local food banks. Gill is also the liaison between the PWC and the families of the newcomer students to Canada. The club is proving to be a beacon of light and emanates hope and encouragement in this oftentimes cold and lonely world! I say lonely because there are now two million websites on loneliness!
Jennifer Ancona, Recreation Coordinator of Town of Halton Hills and Clara Costa, coordinator of Volunteers for the Halton Children’s Aid Society in Burlington deserve special thanks for having nominated Gill for the Diana Award.