Volunteer Profile: Jane!

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For five and half—if not more!—hours every Friday, Jane helps to anchor our Friday volunteer crew. She seems generally to come with Luke, another Friday stalwart. Like others who have been profiled here, she possesses a kind and generous spirit, a willingness to truly engage with those around her and pitch in wherever needed.

But the fact that we have so many wonderful volunteers, who have wonderfulness in common, should not distract from the fact that each is special, their contributions unique. Since she started last April, Jane’s made many different contributions to our program, but more importantly, to the many families we support. When another key volunteer went on maternity leave, she jumped feet first into our “meat department:” our freezers are organized; our meat is bagged and weighed; and when a large family comes in at closing time with less-than-usual dietary requirements, nobody’s worried!

And though it’s harder to quantify (more valuable than 600lbs of Halal meat? 800lbs? All the Halal meat in the world!?) Jane’s infectious laugh and smile make this a happier, more vibrant place to be. In so doing, she models for us a way of walking with those we serve without judgment, and makes it easier for us to support our neighbors.

How did you hear about House of Friendship, and the Food Hamper Program?

I originally began volunteering with House of Friendship’s Christmas Hamper program, where I was in turn introduced to the Emergency Food Hamper Program. I also had a friend that previously worked with House of Friendship.

What do you enjoy about volunteering at EFHP?

One of the main things I love about volunteering here is the other volunteers. I also greatly enjoy working with our program patrons. Helping others brings me joy and happiness.

What has been your most memorable moment volunteering here?

It’s hard to pick out particulars, because we interact with many people every day. But it’s always rewarding when I have time to connect with a grateful patron and work with them as much as possible to meet their particular needs.

What’s your favourite job at our program?

I genuinely enjoy doing anything I can to help out. I mostly work with the meat now and if I had to pick one area I would say that this is my favourite because I get to learn new things.

 

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Jane (and Candace) make sure everyone gets enough of the right meat–or vegetarian protein substitute–with a smile!

How has volunteering impacted your life?

I really get great satisfaction from being able to help others. I feel so blessed to be able to volunteer at this stage of my life. I just love working here. I also love that I am able to volunteer here with my daughter and partner and be able to share this wonderful experience with them.

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

In the past I have volunteered in areas such as the Aids Walk, Terry Fox Run, Manulife Ride for Heart and with my Church. Currently I volunteer at the Mennonite thrift shop every Wednesday morning where I work in the warehouse. I also volunteer with the Out of the Cold program one night a week from November to April where I work in the kitchen.

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

I greatly enjoy spending time with my family. My biggest hobby I would say is reading. I also love gardening in my garden at home.

Volunteers like Jane do a great deal of the wonderful community building work here, which makes it possible for us to support so many others in our community. Since she started, we’ve packed over 30,000 hampers (she alone has volunteered 310 hours!).  

 Thanks Jane!

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