Harnoor Gill receives international “Diana Award”

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STORY 3 ITEM 18
 
BY MARIA DALGARNO

 
HARNOOR Gill, was recently awarded the 2013 International “Diana Award” for his humanitarian work (http://diana-award.org.uk/the-award/international-award).   The 15-year-old youth from Georgetown, Ontario, is quiet and humble about the award and doesn’t  see himself as anyone special – just a young man, he says, who  wants to work for a world of peace and unity where all people are treated equally. A huge thanks  goes to the Diana International Award committee and media worldwide for their work at promoting this national and international award to youth.

Harpreet and Jaspal Gill encouraged their son to reach out and volunteer when he ran into problems in his elementary school with youth who bullied him.  He took his parents’ good advice, forgot about his worries and donated 1,000 volunteer hours with over 20 organizations. He overcame the problem and wants other youth to do likewise because as he says ‘it works’.

Wanting to do more, Gill founded the Peace Welcome Club in Georgetown in February 2012  because he and his family experienced what it meant to be new immigrants in Canada and  want to make it easier for others. The Club reaches out to young people in a special way.  To date, PCW’s activities have consisted of sending more than 10,000 text books to local communities; collecting 2000 jeans for underprivileged youth in India and worldwide; nominating a ‘youth / youth group of the month who stands out because of their help to others; doing shoreline cleanups in local parks; and running food drives for the local food banks.

Gill is also the liaison between the PWC and the families of newcomer students to Canada. The club is proving to be a beacon of light and emanates hope and encouragement in this oftentimes cold and lonely world. I say lonely because there are now two million websites on loneliness!

Jennifer Ancona, Recreation Coordinator of Town of Halton Hills, and Clara Costa, coordinator of Volunteers for the Halton Children’s Aid Society in Burlington, deserve special thanks for having nominated Gill for the Diana Award.

PWC is also honored that the Halton Catholic District School Board recognized Gill’s efforts at his school, Christ The King Catholic Secondary, and shared this event via their social media.

As Gill points out, he does this not for others to pay him tribute but so that many youth do likewise for the good of humanity and create a better world where everyone is loved, respected and helped.

Congratulations to Harnoor Gill for being a recipient of the International Diana Award. You do the youth proud, Harnoor!