Where Will You Go, If You Walk With Others In Our Community?


“House Of Friendship remains committed to working with our community and walking with our most vulnerable members to ensure we pursue long-term solutions to homelessness, poverty, addictions, and mental health.”

John Neufeld, HOF Executive Director

Welcome to my walk with House of Friendship, my name is Marie Morneau.

My walk started some 13 years ago when my daughter Rosemarie started to volunteer at the Kingsdale Community Centre. Back then we were in portables, not the big beautiful building we have now!

Six years ago my husband Denis and I started to help by volunteering at Kingsdale, on Wednesdays. Denis drives the van to the Food Bank and brings back a load of food to Kingsdale, where we repack it and put it away. On Thursday we take that food and set it up for distribution between 1:30 and 3pm for people residing in the Kingsdale area.

Food Distribution at Kingsdale Community Centre

My walk continued when, one day, still in the portables, there was a posting up on the board advertising a community centre attendant job. Guess what? I got the position, and I walked and worked for House of Friendship for two and a half years meeting many people and helping to answer phones, taking requests for programs and food hampers–and a whole lot of other stuff!

During this time I showed people at the centre some of my sewing projects. Well they then asked me to teach sewing! And I have been teaching children from 6 years and up, as well as adults. I am still teaching today – I even taught Rev. Michael! (He was a great student.)

Well continuing on my walk, one day Christine from head office and Alissa asked me if I could sew a vest. Skip ahead five years, and I have made just over 50 vests for the House of Friendship Potato Blitz

They are used at Don Cameron Potato Night, the Supermarket Potato Blitz at 25 different grocery stores in Kitchener and Waterloo, and at the Potato Lunch at St. Andrew’s Church.

Marie and Carl Zehr share some unique handywork

My walk continued as a vest was given to Don Cameron and also to Mayor Carl Zehr when I won the Mayor’s walk last November 15, 2013 for submitting an article about the Kingsdale Area.

Unfortunately, when the new Kingsdale Community Centre was built I was laid off, because the City of Kitchener hired their own employees. But my walk with my volunteering did not stop. My next walk was with my husband Denis. We helped to volunteer at the Annual Fundraising Dinners.

Carl Zehr and Marie discuss the unique community of Kingsdale

Our next walk was helping out at the Turkey Drive for the 12 Days of Good for the Christmas Hampers. We continue volunteering on Wednesdays and Thursdays at Kingsdale.

We do this because we believe in giving back to the community we live in, and so our walk has been three fold: not only by being an employee, and a volunteer, but because we are also clients. We receive food each week that we are grateful for, as we had been previously receiving a disability pension and are now on a low seniors pension.

My walk with House of Friendship has been terrific! It shows that all people are equal, but diverse, and that many of us share the house of Friendship’s mission and follow the verse from Amos 5:24: “I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a torrent of doing good.”

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