Archive for April, 2011

Extending the hand of friendship

April 11, 2011

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?”

Rev. Martin Luther King

“May I never get too busy in my own affairs that I fail to respond to the needs of others with kindness and compassion.”

Thomas Jefferson

The first day I came to the food hamper program it was a warm summer morning.  I walked into the warehouse and was immediately impressed at the number of people working away at many different tasks.  I was there to volunteer, and immediately, someone asked how they could help me.

It has been several years since that day, most of them now, as a paid staff person, but volunteers continue to remain the foundation that our program rests on.  Every aspect of our work exists because volunteers are there to make it happen. (more…)


Volunteer Spotlight: Eric

April 10, 2011

Just as he finished packing one of many hampers from our initial rush when we open at eleven in the morning, I asked Eric if I could sit down with him in the break room to ask him a few questions. He’s been here since the beginning of November of last year to volunteer for about 35 hours but I’ve never really had a chance to have a conversation with him. So here are some of the many things I learned: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Bill

April 9, 2011

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:


Volunteer Spotlight: Alanna

April 8, 2011

Introducing Alanna! Many of us have yet to get a chance to get to know a lot about Alanna, as she’s only been volunteering since the beginning of March. Alanna was introduced to our program to complete some volunteer hours, which are part of completing her degree. Alanna is one of the many volunteers that our program will provide an opportunity placement for this year. During her placement here we’ve given her a brief orientation of House of Friendship in general and more specifics to our program, but she’s learning more and more each day. However I’m not here to talk about us, so let’s get to know this new volunteer: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Mike

April 8, 2011

Here is another one of our great team members: Mike. Mike has been on board with our program for the last two years and counting. In these two years he’s packed a lot of hampers and helped with odd jobs throughout the warehouse for a total of over 180 hours. I’ve enjoyed having a lot of interesting conversations with Mike over the last two years whether he’s working in the warehouse or taking a well-deserved break. But now I want to share a more formal conversation I had with him in a recent interview: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Tracey

April 7, 2011

Recently Tracey celebrated her six month anniversary of volunteering, since she started in October. Over these months Tracy has volunteered for more than 50 hours!

Today I found Tracey unloading a skid of cabbage and lettuce, which is a change of pace from her regular role as a hamper packer. However Tracey comes to us with a great enthusiasm to help people, and doesn’t mind doing whatever task we have to accomplish from our to-do list. So today I asked Tracey to take a break so I could ask her a few questions to share with all of our lovely blog readers: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Roy

April 6, 2011

Around here Roy is no stranger to our program, as he’s been volunteering since September of 2005. He’s often a quiet and hard-working volunteer, but today I got him to open up a little bit so we could boast about him a little bit. To start I can tell you that he’s provided us with over 625 hours of help during his time with us. And now onto more wonderful facts about this volunteer: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Inder

April 5, 2011

January is a busy time of the year for our program, but we’re never too busy to accept volunteers! Inder is just one example of this, as he began volunteering here around mid-January. Currently he’s volunteered for approximately 60 hours! And what’s even better is that he’s recruited some of his friends to also volunteer here. Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be able to spotlight some of the people he’s brought here, but in the mean time let’s focus on him: (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Zach

April 4, 2011

I’m here to share another fresh face in our volunteer pool: Zach. Zach began volunteering with us this year, in between searching for a job that will suit his interests after recently finishing his degree in Environment Engineering. Zach brings a lot of enthusiasm when he volunteers here by always being ready to pack a hamper, by lending a helping hand in the warehouse, or by getting to know other volunteers. So far it’s been great getting to casually chat with Zach in the break room, but today it’s his turn to shine in the spotlight. (more…)

Volunteers. Passion. Action. Impact.

April 1, 2011

Spring is in the air, and hopefully we have seen the last of the snow (you can’t hear it, but I’m knocking on my wooden desk right now). In Canada, each spring is a special time, when the ground thaws out, the grass starts growing and the trees start budding. There is a lot of expectation and hope in the air. But, it’s not just the time of year when you trade your snow shovels for your lawn mower; it’s also the time of year that we celebrate National Volunteer Week! (more…)