What the House of Friendship does to Pitch In

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Trent, Christine and Colin get ready to Pitch In and share the first Turkey of the season

In the last 5 days we have been sharing stories of people who are getting involved this December and tips for getting your own volunteer journey started. (Read it here)

Today, we want to share a few more stories and ideas from House of Friendship staff.

At the House of Friendship (HoF), volunteers work closely beside us in virtually all our programs.  Did you know that HoF staff also volunteer and pitch in outside of their own jobs?  They do!  For some of us, (myself included) volunteering is what got us interested in the work that HoF does.  For others it is a natural extension of our desire to see the community be a better place and to continuously learn.

Christine told me:  “I volunteer with several local groups, with interests ranging from heritage preservation to my parish council. I have volunteered since returning from university some 20+ years ago, and remain grateful to the many talented and generous people who have taught me so much along the way.”

Have you considered that helping out can include things like preparing a meal for friends and reminding people that you’re there for them through difficult times?  Taylor at Charles Village shared with me: “My wife and I, and our friends are all making an extra casserole this week to give to a friend who has injured their hand. Because of a past personal experience we are aware of how difficult it can be to get by without the use of one hand. There is something profound about sharing food that you prepared with love. Any time of significant change or challenge is a great time to offer meals. It is a way that you can contribute something tangible during a time when things seem otherwise out of our control.”

At the Kingsdale Community Centre, staff person Fanny, volunteers  on the Board of Directors of MT Space and is the Artistic Director for Voices del Sur (a Spanish children’s choir) and Ecos del Sur (a Spanish adult choir).  She told me that she volunteers “because I have 3 passions, my language, music and children. I volunteer because it joins all these passions together. ”

And Bethany and Matt, co-workers of mine at the Food Hamper Program, have a long volunteer connection to the Christmas Hamper Program.   The brother and sister duo take time in the evening and on weekends to pitch in and help where they can, enlisting friends when possible and making it a family affair.  Matt told me “people come to volunteer with Christmas Hampers for many different reasons, but all of them seem to share the same excitement for helping people in our community during the holiday season.”

In previous years Bethany was able to spend more time with Christmas hampers, but the busy schedule here makes that difficult now.  She told me that “although I am not able to spend as much time at Christmas Hampers, I am still making an effort to deliver some hampers to people in our community. Volunteering at Christmas Hampers is a wonderful experience, where people come together every December, some who have been volunteering for many years, and others who are looking for something to get involved in during the holiday season.”

This is just a sample of some of the ways we at House of Friendship try and model the change we want to see in the community.  For us, volunteering and volunteers are a rewarding part of our lives and we hope that you’ll consider at least one way to make it a part of your life as well.  Let us know as we continue on our 12day journey of helping Kitchener Waterloo to get out there and volunteer.  Send us a shout out to @HOFKW on Twitter or post on our Facebook wall.  How are you pitching in?

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2 Responses to “What the House of Friendship does to Pitch In”

  1. Linda Kruger Says:

    The Sunnydale community in Waterloo is pitching in globally by collecting supplies and donations to pack hygiene kits for Mennonite Central Committee. The kits will be put together by the children and youth in our community. As our donation box says, “To give is to receive”.

    Linda Kruger

  2. Ron Flaming Says:

    I’m a staff member of House of Friendship and volunteer at Mennonite Coaltion for Refugee Support and Working Centre. Every Thursday evening for the past five years I’ve gone to Speak English Cafe, an english conversation circle for new Canadians, at the Queen Street Commons.

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