A woman with a long list of volunteer experience and expertise says she was surprised to learn she would receive an award for her dedication.
Diane Dwarka is a recipient of Honour150, an award given to volunteers to celebrate Manitoba150. Dwarka humbly thought she would not be considered for the award despite her long list of volunteer work.
"It was exciting because when I was asked to let my name stand for a nomination I said 'I don't think so! There are lots of people who have been doing a lot of different things and I am not sure if I would make the cut," Dwarka says.
The man who nominated her told her to think about it, and after agreeing, Dwarka won one of the coveted awards.
Once a librarian, Dwarka has spent a lot of time dedicated to literacy, something she still does. She also has spent a lot of her volunteer time with her faith community. She says this comes from a genuine love of others.
"As a Christian, we should continue to do the work that Christ did when he was here on Earth. He was very inclusive of everybody. He worked with the sick and the lame, and the poor, and those are the people that we need to continue to work with."
Dwarka says following His lead is her motivation.
"I think it is important, as the path of a Christian if you believe in what Christianity stands for then you need to continue that work."
Dwarka is currently acting as the Past President with Women’s Inter-Church Council of Winnipeg's something on its own is time filling. She also works with The Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada, the Canadian Council of Churches Human Trafficking Working Group, and many other organizations.
The Women's Inter-Church Council of Canada is part of the women-led World Day of Prayer.
"Sometimes people say 'why don't you slow down' and I say I don't think I would survive if I slow down. I need to keep going. If keeps me alive."
Dwarka's advice to people wanting to volunteer is to use the skills and the passions already gained.
"If you want to volunteer you have to think about why you want to volunteer and make it a priority."
She suggests starting with one place to volunteer, focussing on "doing the best they can."