Volunteer Spotlight: Edmer

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This January sparks the beginning of a new year for our program and also the one year anniversary for Edmer as a volunteer here! Over the last year we’ve had a good chance to get to know a few things about Edmer, since he’s put in over 275 hours by coming in twice a week. He’s a reliable and hard-working volunteer that helps out in the warehouse during the morning by bagging various food items. Each day we usually have a different food item for Edmer to bag, and today I happened to catch him bagging mushrooms. While he was hard at work I took a few minutes to ask him some specific questions about his volunteer experiences to this point.

What country are you originally from?

“Fourteen months ago I came to Canada with my wife (to whom I’ve been married to for 21 years), my daughter and my son from Colombia. So far things have been good here. I enjoy living in Canada very much.”

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

“I went to the Working Center and met Susana (a former staff person here at Food hampers). We went over my interests and then she mentioned this program. She thought I would gain valuable work experience and be surrounded by people to help me learn English. So she called Matt (Volunteer Coordinator) to arrange my position here.”

Why is volunteering important to you?

“Volunteering is important to me because my work here allows me to help people, and also gives people a chance to help me. Each day makes a small but important difference.”

How has volunteering made an impact in your life?

“Well it’s helped me in learning English. But also I feel happier with my life now – people here treat me so well and I like doing things that help other people.”

What’s your favourite job at our program?

“I enjoy packing any type of food, whether it’s mushrooms, eggs, or vegetables. It’s just nice to come in here to see all the nice people and make a difference for someone, so I don’t really mind doing any job that needs to be done.”

Edmer is most commonly the volunteer who packs the mushrooms we receive each week. These mushrooms are very important for the hampers we distribute, as mushrooms are a good source of many vitamins and minerals while being low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Four to five white mushrooms can provide a person with an impressive amount of nutrition, which you can read about here.

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

“I do my best to study English in my spare time. Also I like to keep my house clean. It seems like I’m always cleaning sometimes.”

Wow your wife must really appreciate that you like cleaning and other household chores! But she’s not the only one that appreciates you! Here at Food Hampers I (and many other staff) am grateful that you’re willing to allow us to practice and perfect our Spanish-speaking skills with you. It’s always nice to exchange a few words in each others native language while sitting down in the lunch room together. You’ve always got a lot of interesting things to talk about and work so well at bagging many different food items, which are so helpful to the work we do here. Happy anniversary in your volunteer career here Edmer! We all look forward to many more mornings together!

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