Students Giving Back: Kiera McDuff

By: Brittany Wade, 1st year MScPT student

Kiera McDuff hiking

Kiera McDuff

For Kiera McDuff, the best part about volunteering is the people she meets. Having recently started her Master’s in Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto, she wanted an opportunity to get involved and give back to her community.

Every Sunday morning, Kiera meets on campus for an initiative called Out of the Cold, a program organized by Toronto lawyers that feeds individuals in the community who lack access to food.

When asked what surprises her the most about volunteering with this program, Kiera feels it’s the relationships she builds. “Toronto is a huge city and there are so many people who are homeless or living on the margins. This program serves a couple hundred people, but I always see the same groups come in together. I’ve even had an individual approach me outside of school to say hello. I wasn’t expecting to get to know people in that way.”

Kiera believes it is important to help your local community, and volunteering is a great outlet. “Volunteering has always been a priority for me, and I really enjoy it. It isn’t just because it feels good to contribute. It’s also fun to meet other volunteers and the people who benefit from the program.”

When asked to describe her volunteer experience in one feeling, she responds “happiness”. “I volunteer with my father, and really value that experience” she says. “It helps break up my routine while I’m in school. It feels good, productive and I plan to continue doing it!”