Archive for November, 2013

Volunteer Spotlight: Mark G.

November 11, 2013

Most every Monday and Friday, Mark G. bikes down to the Hamper Program. He helps out in a variety of ways: packing hampers; processing meat; and finishing up snacks left in the break room! All are appreciated, and to show a bit of our appreciation I sat down with him recently to talk about his work here.

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

I go to Stirling Mennonite Church in Kitchener. John Neufeld (HOF’s current Executive Director) also attends Stirling, and every once in a while I’d hear about House of Friendship from him. He got me started here at Food Hampers in 2011, and I’ve been coming ever since. (As of my writing, Mark has volunteered over 235 hours here!)

What do you enjoy about volunteering at the EFHP?

A number of different things, but maybe most important are the relationships I’ve developed with other volunteers and staff here. I really enjoy working with Matt, Raymond, Jesse, Wanda, Candace, Val, Rolf, Oscar, Pickles, Connie, Ursula, Daniel, and whole bunch of others! All these people form a community doing good work, which is fulfilling to be a part of.

What’s your favourite job at our program?

Working in the meat department with Candace is always fun. Otherwise I like to do a variety of different jobs, but I often end up packing hampers. The hamper packing job gives me funny and cute stories. Sometimes packing hampers is hard, but I remember in particular one very cute little girl who sweetly—but persistently—asked if we could give her broccoli and celery. These moments stick with you.

Pretty much every ounce of meat that goes through our program has Candace’s (gloved) fingerprints on it. She processes meat with many of our other (clean-fingered) volunteers–like Mark!

How has volunteering impacted your life?

It has fulfilled it. When I feel down I try to remember those moments, and think about the fact that I do have work that helps many in need.

Are there any other programs that you have volunteered with?

Not yet. (He is after all quite busy here!) In the near future I hope to volunteer at The Village of Winston Park, a retirement home in Kitchener. I’d like to play piano there. Most of my favourite pieces are from the late romantic period, or the early 20th century, for example Maurice Ravel’s Scarbo.

What kind of activities or hobbies do you enjoy when you aren’t working or volunteering?

I compose and play music, specifically classical. I compose on paper, and also on my computer. I also like watching—and chasing!—severe weather systems, and learning Portuguese (aprendo portugues) so that I can speak with some of my Brazilian Portuguese friends. Last but very much not least, I play video games, meaning, of course MINECRAFT!

Thanks for sharing, Mark. As of 21 October 2013 we’ve served 26,160 hampers, and we couldn’t do it without volunteers like you!