Volunteer Profile: Brittany Hayduk

Brittany Hayduk has volunteered for nearly every opportunity presented to her since becoming a CASA volunteer in 2020. She’s worked closely with CASA’s volunteer coordinator, helping with administration for CASA’s new volunteer software, Better Impact. If it weren’t for her, our volunteer program itself would not be the same!

Brittany is also scheduled to be a social work student for CASA in the new year, supporting the School Age Services Program. We wish her the best in these steps on her career path! You can learn more about Brittany in her interview below.

How long have you been a volunteer with CASA?

I have been a volunteer with CASA since December 2020. I was delayed in starting my volunteer journey due to COVID-19, but was excited to get started.

What motivated you to get involved as a volunteer? What attracted you to CASA?

CASA has an incredible impact on the community and supports mental health for children, youth and families in Edmonton and area. In 2019, I worked in a community organization serving children. I met one child who told me she was attending programs at CASA, which encouraged me to look deeper into the organization. When I realized the depth and breadth of CASA’s programs, I saw that CASA meets so many needs for so many individuals and families. I was inspired to apply to volunteer and help in any way that I could.

Can you describe your volunteer involvement at CASA and what program you support?

I am a support stream volunteer, so I help out primarily with events and have been working with Breanne Coffill on a project to migrate the volunteer database to Better Impact.

What would you say is your biggest gain from volunteering at CASA? Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?

My most significant gain from volunteering with CASA is developing my skills at using new software and learning more about volunteer management from an expert! I am most proud of being a CASA volunteer at the events when I can connect with other volunteers and community members who are passionate about mental health and working towards a common goal.

With so many great organizations to support, why should others choose to support CASA?

Others should choose to support CASA because mental health is at the forefront of conversations. Many people are experiencing poor mental health due to the pandemic, and volunteering is a great way to support mental health while also engaging yourself in community connections. CASA is also a large organization with many avenues for volunteer opportunities within many programs; I think there is a volunteer opportunity to meet almost any interest!

What made you decide to complete your winter 2022 practicum at CASA?

I am currently enrolled in my fourth year of my Bachelor of Social Work with the University of Calgary and have worked or volunteered in child, youth or family mental health for a few years. After doing more research when I met the child served by CASA, I learned more about CASA. I felt passionate about the core values and saw CASA as somewhere that could provide me with a wealth of learning experiences. I felt inspired and decided to volunteer to become better acquainted with the organization, and knew that I wanted to pursue my practicum at CASA. I requested my practicum coordinators and am excited to be learning from the CASA School Age Services team in winter 2022! While I complete my practicum, I will also remain a volunteer supporting programs in any way that I can.

How do you take care of your mental health?

I take care of my mental health with time for self-care, community care, and professional mental health support. Self-care for me looks like fostering dogs, going to the Rocky Mountains and taking backpacking trips, and fibre arts. Community care to me is engaging with people who are important to me, volunteering for an organization like CASA that facilitates the connection between volunteers and supports such an important cause, and emailing elected officials about structural barriers or inequalities people face. I also engage with professional mental health support at least a few times a year but more as required because as a helping professional, I need to make sure I am willing to get the help I need.

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