September 16, 2014
Mehak Bhansali already has plans to change the world, and she just entered high school.
This 14-year-old girl is the Mississauga Ambassador for the Peace Welcome Club (PWC), founded in 2012 to help young newcomers to the country find volunteer opportunities within the GTA.
“I got to know the PWC through a newspaper article and thought it would be a great opportunity for me by joining,” Mehak explained, the eagerness in her voice apparent.
The first thing Mehak wanted to do with the club was put together a book drive for kids in third world countries. Along with the students at her school, Mehak was easily able to surpass her goal of 250, collecting over 750 books.
“Every kid needs a book to read, even in third world countries, and having a book to call your own is really great, so I decided that, with my class, we could start a book drive.”
It’s easy to tell that Mehak is passionate about raising awareness for children in third world countries, as well as youth who are new to Canada. With an open mind and an open heart, she finds it easy to overlook cultural boundaries and get involved in anything she wants to.
As for future aspirations, she is interested in started her own company to help other people around the world. “”I want to help them get on their feet, have a good life.”
A newcomer to Canada herself, Mehak and her family came from India about 10 years ago, when Mehak was just four. As the youngest ambassador of PWC, she has accomplished quite a bit within her term and hopes to continue her role into the New Year.
“She has gone above and beyond what her age requires; youth her age don’t normally go out of their way to do community service. She showcases a lot of leadership and initiative and is an integral part of the community,” said Harnoor Gill, founder of PWC, about Mehak.
Harnoor is just as keen as Mehak about renewing her role for 2015.
“We definitely hope that she does renew her ambassador role, as she is extremely giving and caring and extremely powerful.”
Mehak’s long term goal with the PWC is to introduce a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for First Nations by selling art made by the students. Additionally, she wants to sell shirts with the PWC logo as well as a slogan to support people in third world countries.
She has experience working with fundraisers through the Girl Guides of Canada, and, in addition to PWC, her philanthropic efforts run from helping people with disabilities to running a book drive for the children’s book bank to volunteering at the Newcomer Centre of Peel, at the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and as a helper for her local MPP’s barbecue.
Needless to say, Mehak has the volunteer gene, through and through. She is dedicated to giving her services to people who need it—whether it’s picking up garbage off the shore or giving a book to someone who doesn’t have one, she knows where she is needed, and the best part is that she wants to be there.
“She has put in a lot of effort and has done a great deal of things for such a young age,” Harnoor echoed.
Mehak’s simple goal? “I want to make a change in the community and raise money for people that need help.”
1. For more information on the Peace Welcome Club, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PeaceWelcomeClub
2. Listen to Harnoor Gill, founder of PWC, chat about World Peace at We Day in Waterloo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6Mm9g5oND0
3. Encourage youth to get involved in their community to make a difference – one step at a time