Volunteer Spotlight: John


John does well to make his presence known when he’s here to volunteer, whether he’s sparking up conversations when he packs hampers, or saying hello to everyone when he comes in. John’s enthusiasm is easy to see while he’s here. And he’s been here and there sporadically helping out whenever needed throughout the last few years. Though we haven’t always been able to track the hours that he supports our program, we know that over the course of the last six months he has volunteered over 70 hours! This includes doing odd jobs in the warehouse, packing hampers, or helping out at the Volunteer Party. Whatever activity John seems to take on, he does so with a keen spirited attitude! 

Since John keeps himself very busy while at our program, often working without a break, it wasn’t easy getting him to sit down to chat. However during one of our lulls in packing hampers for the afternoon, I got a chance to ask him a few questions. So here are just some of the interesting things I learned about this helpful volunteer:

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

“My knowledge of House of Friendship started when my Church introduced us to the Charles Street Men’s Hostel. From there I slowly heard more about House of Friendship – especially when my son, Matthew became the social service intern a few years ago. Now that he’s the volunteer coordinator he was able to recruit some of my spare time to help him out.”

Why is volunteering important to you?

“Volunteering is important because it’s a way that I can tangibly support people who live in very different circumstances than me. I just want to give back as a way to appreciate and honor what I have been given.”

Are there any other programs that you volunteer or have volunteered with?

“I’ve helped with Christmas hampers, Operation Christmas Child, and various high school activities and events when I was a teacher. I’m also very active in my church by helping with Vacation Bible School, as a Sunday school teacher and similar projects over the years.”

How has volunteering made an impact in your life?

“I guess it’s helped me appreciate what I have at a whole new level. Without volunteering here I never would have seen how great the need is – it’s far greater than I ever would have imagined for this area.”

What’s your favourite job at our program?

“I enjoy talking to people while I pack their hamper the most. I’m a chatter! But I really don’t mind doing anything here, whether it’s opening a box to stock food on the hamper packing shelves or bagging potatoes. It’s just nice to come in here and help out.”

What kind of activities or hobbies do you enjoy when you’re not working or volunteering?

“I enjoy doing puzzles like Sudoku; playing card games and board games; and doing things with my family.”

I’ve still yet to have a competition with John to see who can complete a Sudoku puzzle the fastest but I think he’d win. His university math and problem solving skills will probably outshine the few tricks and techniques I’ve learned to help me through these difficult puzzles. However either way I know we’d have a laugh at the end!

Thanks for all the smiles and laughs you bring out in all of us here, and your constant hard work to help us each day you’re here to volunteer!

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