Betty Galbraith is one of our regular Monday volunteers, along with her husband John. For them, volunteering here is a family affair—their son Matt G. is the volunteer coordinator, and their daughter Bethany used to work at intake. Betty is clearly dedicated to the work we do here. You can find her doing whatever is needed, either getting her hands dirty sorting donations that come in or packing hampers. She also has great friendships with fellow volunteers—one week she hears someone say they like lasagne, and the next week she brought in a whole lasagne for everyone to share! I managed to tear her away from sorting bread to sit down and ask her a few questions.
How did you hear about House of Friendship?
I heard about it through my son Matt, the volunteer coordinator at the food hamper program. One of my friends also used to live in Sunnydale and she told me all about the community centre there and the House of Friendship.
What do you enjoy about volunteering at the EFHP?
It makes me feel good to help people, and I enjoy working with the other volunteers. Everyone here is kind of like family.
What’s your favourite job at our program?
I like sorting through food orders we get from Loblaw’s, I like doing it all. Here we took a break to laugh about what we call the yogurt test—when we get tubs of yogurt in our Loblaw’s order many didn’t survive the trip. To see whether or not they’re ok, you have to squeeze them. If they’re fine then you stay clean, otherwise you could get covered in yogurt!
How has volunteering impacted your life?
I look forward to Mondays! It’s fun—I even come by on other days if Matt needs some extra help. I feel like I’m helping people when I’m here.
Is there one experience you’ve had here that you remember?
It really affects me if it’s someone’s first hamper—I’ve had experiences with men and women where they cry when they come in. It really touches me. I usually give them a hug and try to give some words of encouragement.
Are there any other programs that you are or have volunteered with?
I used to volunteer with Live and Learn at the House of Friendship, with mom’s and young kids. I used to babysit full time, now I only do two days per week, but I love working with children. I also volunteer with our kids program and Sunday school at church.
What kind of activities or hobbies do you enjoy when you aren’t working or volunteering?
I love doing jigsaw puzzles, sewing, and cooking. I cook for the people who run our kids program at church once per week! I also sing in the Laurier choir with my sisters, that’s just something I do for me.
We’re glad that Betty makes time in her schedule to volunteer here, along with all the other things she’s involved with. She’s a big help because she enjoys doing so many different things. Thanks, Betty, for including all of us at food hampers in your extended family!