Volunteer Spotlight – Mark Bucholtz

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Working Monday to Friday, many professionals have a difficult time finding extra time in their schedule to give time to another organization. However, Mark has been able to commit 2 days a week to volunteer with our program. He delivers hampers mainly to patrons who have mobility and health issues. He has been giving his time and kilometres for 7-8 years.

How did you get involved with our program?

“My father had recently passed away and I felt I need to do something. I don’t recall if I saw an ad in the newspaper or with the Volunteer Action Center. I called and spoke with Sue Sinclair about driving… Driving at the beginning was challenging because the hours the program was open was when I was at work. But it worked out. At the same time I started to donate blood on a regular basis.”

I guess you know Kitchener and Waterloo really well. Do you come across any challenges when doing deliveries?

“Most of the deliveries are in Kitchener. I would say that 1 in 10 are in Waterloo. Road closures can be a challenge or someone not being home. But I usually continue on my route and circle back and try to redeliver, and then the person is home.”

Do you get feedback from the patrons you deliver to?

It is a mix. It is a brief visit, but sometimes I get a thank you, sometimes not. For some, I ask if they want me to bring the food inside or they tell me just to leave it at the door. One patron gave me a box of desserts he made around Christmas time, and the year before that he gave me a box of chocolates.”

How has volunteering with us made an impact in your life?

“I appreciate my own situation more. If I have been stressed about work, and then go to do some deliveries; the stress has gone out the window when I’m finished. When someone doesn’t have enough food, you’re grateful. I’m pretty lucky.”

What are some of your hobbies and interests when you are not working here?

“Reading… all sorts of topics, like religious book, farming and gardening books, business books. I found reading about the bank crash in the U.S. interesting.”

I’m really glad I had a chance to sit down with Mark. Usually he pops in, picks up the deliveries, and then he’s on his way, so our interaction is brief or there isn’t much of one. I learned a lot, especially how much volunteering has made a great impact in his life. Mark is passionate about reading. I actually learned about micro credit and the Grameen Bank System, and that on Fridays he delivers for Meals on Wheels. We are so fortunate to have him as part of our program. Thanks Mark!

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