Alex Behar

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted – Aesop.” 

Alex Behar, a vibrant and compassionate young volunteer, embarked on a journey with ASABC’s sailing program, bringing not only a willingness to contribute but also a heart open to learning. Born in Singapore and raised by European parents, Alex’s move to Vancouver two years ago introduced him to the world of volunteering, and it wasn’t long before he found ASABC through a friend’s recommendation. Today, we share his inspiring journey and the lessons he’s gathered after contributing a commendable 39 hours of service during the 2023 summer sailing season. 

The inspiration behind Alex’s decision to become a land volunteer with ASABC was rooted in his newfound love for sailing. Having been introduced to the sport just months before joining the program, he saw an opportunity to merge his passion with a worthwhile cause. “I started sailing just three months before I joined ASABC, and I really love it. I always liked the sea, but learning to sail was just a completely different feeling,” Alex shared. 

Explaining why he initially chose to be a land volunteer rather than a sailing companion, Alex elaborated, “I didn’t feel like my sailing skills were sufficient. So, I decided that I would prefer to start as a land volunteer. I’m a lot better at sailing now than I was at the start of the summer.” 

Alex on one of his sailing adventures
Alex on one of his sailing adventures

His role as a land volunteer involved diverse responsibilities, from greeting clients and setting up equipment to launching and retrieving sailboats. Alex quickly became a “utility cart” for the sailing staff, contributing to the program’s success. 

Reflecting on his first experiences with ASABC, Alex shared a moment that shaped his journey. “My first experience really handling a disabled client was not necessarily the smoothest. I was tasked with unloading a client with a lower body injury. Although I had received training beforehand, I was still quite nervous and hesitant. I accidentally made a mistake, and I braced myself for potential criticism. Surprisingly, the client was extremely understanding and kind, offering words of encouragement. His kindness not only made my day but also boosted my confidence in handling future clients.” 

Alex also recalled the story of a young client with limited motor function, an individual who not only embraced sailing with enthusiasm but also extended his involvement to help with various tasks in the program. This client’s resilience and determination showcased the transformative power of the ASABC programs and left an indelible mark on Alex. 

What stood out for Alex was the incredible sense of community among volunteers, staff, and participants. “Within less than a week, I felt like I was really part of the family,” he said. This camaraderie made his three-week volunteering stint memorable, creating lasting bonds with the people he encountered. 

Alex on the far left posing with the ASABC staff
Alex on the far left posing with the ASABC staff

As Alex considers his future with ASABC, he embraces the opportunity to motivate high school students through the School Volunteer Partnership program, serving as the lead coordinator of the program. 

His advice for potential volunteers echoes his own journey: “If you are on the fence, just try one shift. You would be surprised what a difference this one shift will make to your life.” He added, “It is such a rewarding experience and a great opportunity to connect with amazing people. The time spent on that shift will bring a sense of purpose, even if you’re unable to volunteer again. I would also recommend keeping an open mind, and staying flexible, as changing weather conditions often force you to adapt to unplanned situations. Finally, be ready to learn on your feet. A lot of the teaching happens as you are doing the tasks.” 

Looking forward, Alex plans to continue volunteering as a land volunteer, and now that he has gained more experience sailing, he would like to try being a sailing companion too. He is motivated by the remarkable people and stories he encounters through volunteering. With the quote, “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” guiding his actions, Alex believes that every act of kindness contributes to a collective wave of positive change. 

Alex’s journey with ASABC is a beacon of inspiration, illustrating the transformative power of volunteering and the strength of a supportive community. We look forward to witnessing the continued ripples of impact that he, and many others like him, create in the years to come. 

Thank you, Alex, for being an integral part of the ASABC family and for sharing your uplifting story with us.