Volunteer Spotlight: Rob

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On a quite afternoon I found a job for Rob. Nice rhyme eh? Well I’m not as funny as this volunteer so I’ll leave the jokes to him. I’ll stick to what I’m good at – introducing the volunteers and sharing some of the interesting facts and quotes that they shared with me.

Rob is a remarkable volunteer with a long history here. He started volunteering back in September of 2006. Yet the more amazing part is how much he’s grown here and the amount of hours he’s been in this building, which is totaling somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1 800 hours!! But I don’t want to give away too much more of his story because he tells it better. So here goes…

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

“My tenant at the time was volunteering or getting assistance here. I decided I wanted to try volunteering for the first time, especially since I live close to this location. Here’s a funny story though: when I walked down the driveway somebody outside told me that this place wasn’t looking for volunteers. I almost walked away but then I thought I’ll leave my name anyways. Well when I walked in the Volunteer Coordinator was happy to set up an orientation with me. In the end I’m glad I didn’t listen to the person outside.”

We’re definitely glad you didn’t listen because we’re often always looking for volunteers. Maybe not right away, but a spot usually opens up within the next few weeks. Anyways, why is volunteering important to you?

“The way I see it is that if you want to be happy in life you need to take your mind off yourself and use that time to make others happy.”

How has volunteering made an impact in your life?

“Working here has helped me learn a lot about people. I use to work in factories and construction but never with the public. I enjoy being face-to-face with all the different family sizes and cultures.”

To read more about how we accommodate special diets, please visit this previous blog.

What’s your favourite job at our program?

“Irritating the staff! (We took a break to laugh and share some stories)….Really I enjoy the variety. When I started I was bagging food and doing odd jobs in the warehouse. Then after about two years I wanted to learn to pack hampers. Now when I come in I like that I can jump back and forth to help out with whichever is needed more.”

Note: When Rob started no one would have guessed that he’d be packing hampers one day. He had such a quiet nature to him at the beginning; but over the years we’ve been fortunate to see him come out of his shell. All the positive reinforcement really has paid off to build his confidence, and add a member to our hamper packing team. 

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

“I chop a lot of wood because I try to heat my house with a wood stove through the winter. Doing yard work keeps me busy in the summer too. I enjoy camping. Other than that I don’t think I’m that exciting – probably because I’m too busy being here.”  

Well Rob we always appreciate that you’re able to commit so many days a week to us in a pinch between finding a new set of volunteers; and that you’re “on-call” to save us when other volunteers call in last-minute! I can’t even count how many times you’ve just stopped in to make sure we have enough volunteers too. It’s extraordinary how much you care about helping the many families and individuals who need our program. I don’t think we can say thank you enough or that thank you even covers the amount of gratitude we have for you! You’re tremendous and we’re so glad that you’ve been a faithful volunteer for all these years. THANK YOU!

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