Volunteers key to WASP, library services, and help drive funding through Share Whistler 

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Peace on earth and goodwill to man is a nice sentiment, but many young people feel so strapped for time between working two or more jobs and taking care of life's necessities that there isn't much peace, and goodwill is fleeting.

For two busy young Whistler residents, giving something back is part of their lifestyle and one of the things they do as a part of who they are.

Chris Kennedy, 27, and Misty Misener, who happens to be a little older than Kennedy, volunteer their time at two well-known Whistler organizations.

Kennedy is a fitness trainer working with the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, while Misener volunteers at the Whistler Public Library.

Kennedy, owner of Black Diamond Fitness, uses his expertise to help train athletes to participate in triathlons and in the winter he works with people on strength and conditioning.

He meets with a group of people at Meadow Park a few times a week to work with them. The time he spends with WASP participants is totally voluntary.

"The training itself is rewarding to see everyone show up and put forth effort to train for an event," said Kennedy.

According to the personal trainer, his workouts with the WASP participants are also social events.

"We just end up chatting and hanging out," he said.

Kennedy says he really enjoys his work with the organization.

"What you give in terms of time and energy you get back ten fold," he said. "To me it is just a no-brainer."

Misener volunteers four hours a week at the library helping people in the computer lab and shelving books.

Her volunteer schedule is flexible and it is structured around her serving job in the village.

Misener has a simple thought about volunteering: "If we have enough time to drink we should have enough time to help out a little," she said

She came to Whistler in September and within days she was at the library to offer volunteer time.

"I've done sex education, I've done environment, animal shelters," she said of the variety volunteer initiatives she has been involved with in the past.

Motivated by the opportunity to give back she's clear that she also gets something out of the volunteer work she does.

"Satisfaction that I'm doing something, just the giving back that everything I do is not necessarily about myself," said Misener by way of explanation.

In the spring she intends to check with Whistler Animals Galore to find out how she can help there.

"We do so many things to appease ourselves and when you're doing something completely for someone else it gives you a different sense of satisfaction," she said.

"I hear a lot of people say they don't have time for it and two hours a week, it's less than a movie so you always have time for it," she added.

There are three primary goals of the SHARE Whistler campaign:

• To attract new donors and volunteers to support local non-profits through the CFOW;

• To encourage people 35 and under to get involved in philanthropy and the Whistler community;

• To provide publicity and exposure for a variety of local charitable causes.

Pique chose the CFOW because it's an umbrella organization dedicated to improving quality of life by enabling, demonstrating and encouraging philanthropy in Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor.

For information on how to donate, visit www.whistlerfoundation.com.

HOW TO DONATE:

Visit www.whistlerfoundation.com or www.piquenewsmagazine.com. The campaign ends today, Dec. 28, and final numbers will be posted next week.

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