Outstanding youth volunteer receives highest honour from Province of Ontario

TORONTO, April 18, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - This National Volunteer Week, CNIB congratulates one of our most dedicated volunteers for receiving the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers, the highest honour a young person can achieve in the province.

Toronto's Meaghan Walker, 17, was one of six honourees in a special ceremony held on April 17 at Queen's Park by The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and Charles Sousa, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Meaghan was introduced to CNIB at age 11 through a family in her neighbourhood with triplet girls, one of whom was born blind. Inspired by the special challenges this family has faced with assistance from CNIB, Meaghan began fundraising for the organization. Meaghan's efforts started small with bracelet sales and lemonade stands and grew as she did - most recently raising $2,000 at a gala organized for her high school.

"The priceless gift of time that CNIB's volunteers give to our organization and the community we serve is essential to everything we do," says Linda Goldblatt, Executive Director, Ontario-Nunavut, CNIB. "However, it is a rare and special experience to work with a volunteer as committed as Meaghan at such a young age. Her interest in helping people who are blind or partially sighted has been unwavering."

For Meaghan, the message she wishes to convey is two-fold: to inspire the world to see people's abilities rather than disabilities and to encourage young people to get engaged in a cause that is meaningful to them.

"Volunteering has been a huge part of my life because I know how fortunate I am," says Meaghan. "I love seeing people happy - the children and adults I've worked with who are blind bring a smile to my face each time I see them accomplish something they weren't sure they could do."

Meaghan's devotion to volunteerism has had positive ripple effects throughout her school and community.

"If everyone makes a small change they want to see in the world, our world can be a better place," says Meaghan.

In light of National Volunteer Week, Meaghan is an inspiration to us all.

About CNIB

CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life. To learn more, visit or call the toll-free CNIB Helpline at 1-800-563-2642.

About National Volunteer Week

April 15 to 21 is National Volunteer Week. Thousands of volunteers contribute time, skills and passion to CNIB to help empower Canadians who are blind or partially sighted. To all our volunteers: Thank you - you make a difference! To find out more or to become a volunteer, visit