Volunteer Spotlight: Bill


There’s an interesting story to how this interview started. When I went to give Bill a food list to pack I told him that if he could guess the surprise I had for him, he’d win a prize. And this is it! His prize was to sit down with me for a few minutes with me in the break room so I could ask him a few questions to share on the blog. However I phrased it more that I was going to make him famous, so here’s my best attempt to give him his fifteen minutes of fame:

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

“I attended the Volunteer Fair at Conestoga Mall last October. I browsed at some of the different opportunities displayed but ultimately decided to go with this program as I felt it fit my personality and schedule the best.”

Why is volunteering important to you?

“Since I’ve been fortunate throughout my life I want to take the time to give back to those that are in need.”

How has volunteering made an impact in your life?

“The biggest thing is that it has given me a first hand perspective on an important issue in our community. Working here has really reinforced the level of need in such a variety of different people who I don’t know I could have imagined otherwise. It’s also been interesting to hear some of the patrons’ stories. I think a few of them are working, so it’s helped me understand the idea of the working poor a little bit more.”

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

“I use to be a Big Brother, work on church councils and parish groups, and a fundraising group leader at work for United Way. Now I help out once a week at Out of the Cold.”

To read a blog about Out of the Cold, please click here.

What’s your favourite job at our program?

“Packing hampers is really all I do here. But I really enjoy it because it’s exposed me to meeting the variety of patrons. Also it feels good to see the looks on their faces when they see their hamper. People are always so thankful and appreciative.”

Note: On an average day Bill probably packs somewhere in the area of five hampers an hour. That’s about 25 or more hampers each day since he’s typically here to volunteer from 11am (when we open) until about 4pm.

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

“I’m a car enthusiast, mostly enjoying antique cars. Right now I’m part of the Historical Automobile Society of Canada. We’ve gone on tours of how cars are made and looked at some restored classical cars…I also enjoy traveling and spending time with family. I’m really interested in genealogy and history. There’s a lot of stuff I’m interested in or would like to do but I don’t seem to have enough hours in the days or weeks for all of it.”

Well Bill we’re definitely glad that you’re able to fit us into your schedule each week. In total you’ve been here for approximately 75 hours, which is splendid! It’s always a pleasure to have you around. You’re a great help to us since you’re available for a full afternoon. Thank you for your dedication! We look forward to helping you understand more about food insecurity. But most importantly we look forward to getting to know more about you!

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