Volunteer Spotlight: Alana

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On top of being a full-time student Alana finds time to come in to pack hampers and work in the warehouse once a week at our program. Alana began including our program into her busy schedule in September of last year, and in this time she has volunteered about 50 hours. Over the past holiday season she was especially helpful to come in extra days while some of our other volunteers were out-of-town on vacations or absent to spend additional time with their friends and family. During this time Alana has taken the chance to learn more about our program and agency, so now I took the time to ask her some questions so we can all get to know her a little bit more.

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

“I’ve always been aware of House of Friendship. But when I saw a volunteer fair at Conestoga Mall it helped give me more information about this specific program. I also knew of a friend who was currently volunteering so I asked her more about it. We agreed that it was probably something I’d enjoy doing.

Why is volunteering important to you?

“Volunteering is something I’ve always grown up doing. It’s been a big part of my life because it means a lot that I’m able to give something back to people.”

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

“Most of my previous work has been fundraising for agencies such as Kids Ability, Volunteer Action Center, and Women’s Crisis Services.”

How has volunteering made an impact in your life?

“It’s helped me gain experience in the field. I’ve applied for my Master of Social Work because I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in the helping profession. This experience also allows me to learn about different challenges and experiences people face within a non-profit environment, and more about the problems in our community.”

What’s your favourite job at our program?

“I don’t mind doing anything – even bagging dog food. The only thing I didn’t really enjoy was bagging chestnuts because it turned my hands brown. I had to explain that to everyone for the next few days until the colour faded.”

Note: Many people don’t anticipate getting assistance with pet food when they come in to our program. However pets need to eat to, and people enjoy having them around for companionship. To read more about this, click here.

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

“Well I’m doing the Criminal Justice and Public Policy program with a minor in International Development at University of Guelph so that’s basically my life. But when I’m not crazy busy with school I like to read, hang out with my friends, and going to my cottage in the summer.”

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and also for your strong dedication to helping others. Whether it’s making sure someone gets the most appropriate food in their hamper for a special diet, counting out the right number of diapers to bag, or just talking with the other volunteers you’ve done a great job! We look forward to learning more about you Alana, and helping you learn more about House of Friendship and other social service agencies.

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