Growing up in Merritt, I had endless opportunities to connect with the community and give back to others through volunteering. 

A while back, I volunteered at the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank. During this time, I had the chance to help package food, make food hampers, as well as help distribute hampers. Although these were small actions, they left a big impact in my life by helping me build connections in this community. 

Due to progressively academic courses and involvement in other extracurriculars, I found it difficult to make time for volunteering at the food bank. Now, a few years later, I have finally found a way to give back to the food bank, while maintaining other commitments. On behalf of the Merritt Sikh Society, I decided to organize my own food drive. 

My goal with this food drive was to make my religious community proud, while making a positive impact at the food bank before leaving for university. On April 18, I drove around town with the company of my sister to collect non-perishable food items for the food bank. Throughout all of the fundraising initiatives I have participated in over my lifetime, I have never failed to be impressed by my community’s generosity. 

With limited time, I did not have the chance to drive through all of Merritt, but with the limited number of houses I did visit, the folks of Merritt showed immense support by helping me raise over 150 pounds of non-perishable food items. The generosity of this community never fails to amaze me, and I will forever be grateful for the kindness it shows.