Two years ago, Leah Ridpath decided to start volunteering with the Peterborough Chapter of the Huntington Society of Canada. She got involved mainly because her family was also volunteering at the time and it felt like the right thing to do. She continues to volunteer, though, because she enjoys it so much.
“Volunteering really brings me joy,” says Leah. “It’s amazing to feel like you’re helping in the grand scheme of things. I love when the whole event comes together in the end and all the hard work pays off.”
Now acting as the Vice President of the Chapter, helping to plan their annual walk fundraiser and attending monthly meetings, Leah gets to see her hard work pay off often.
Leah hasn’t only gained a sense of accomplishment from her time spent with the Chapter – she has also gained important life skills like organization, time management and people skills. She also feels she is making a difference for others in the Chapter.
“HD can be an isolating disease,” Leah reflects. “The Chapter is more than just a group of people organizing events. It is a group of people with similar hardships connecting with one another on a monthly basis.”
At 30 years old, Leah is one of the youngest Chapter executives. As a young executive, she can also relate to the younger volunteers of the Chapter and recognize their need for a way to get involved other than their local support group.
For anyone looking to get involved, Leah says it’s all about making that move.
“It’s important to just take that first step,” says Leah. “There are Chapters all across the country. If you contact head office, they will help you connect with your local group. Chapters are always wanting more help, you just have to take that first step.”
National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. We are taking the time to celebrate and thank all of our dedicated volunteers in the HD community! We appreciate the contributions of time and effort from all of our incredible volunteers.