Posts Tagged ‘get involved’

Don Cameron gets results

February 3, 2012

Volunteers and Kitchener Waterloo can move mountains.  Mountains of potatoes that is! How do we know this?  Well, because of the Don Cameron Potato Night of course!

It was, as usual, a record breaking event!  Rangers fans did it again, bringing in 4,800 lbs of potatoes and giving $6,394 in cash donations.  Thanks to a special purchasing agreement with a local supplier we are able to purchase potatoes at an average rate of 15 cents per pound, which means that Rangers fans alone raised the equivalent of 47,425 pounds of spuds, matching last year’s record effort!

Volunteering at the night, Colin shared with me afterwords, “I was excited to see the level of community support House of Friendship has.  There are so many areas of the community we rely on for support and the folks coming to the game represent another one of those corners. It was just amazing to see how many folks do bring out potatoes.”

But there’s more good news.  Zehrs markets donated $5,000 and another 4,500 lbs of potatoes to Don Cameron Potato Night for a total contribution of 37,833 pounds of potatoes.  This means that in one very special evening, Don Cameron Potato Night raised the equivalent of more than 85,000 pounds of potatoes! (more…)

Pitch in for twelve days in December

December 9, 2011

“How can I help?”

This is a question that we often get, year round, at the House of Friendship.  What sets us apart as a community is how often we reach out to others and lend a hand.  We know this because we see it every day in the actions of our many volunteers.

November and December are a time of year that brings us to reflect on family and the many good things in our life, and naturally our thoughts go to others who may not be as fortunate. Just yesterday, one of our volunteers brought his mother in to volunteer with him because of the increased need at this time of year.  You may be wondering, how can you pitch in if you’re not already volunteering regularly or know someone who is?

I’m glad you asked!

For the next twelve days the House of Friendship is going to do its best to encourage people pitch in to make Waterloo Region a better place, one kind act at a time.

Pitching in doesn’t need to be something big. Lots of little acts add up to a huge difference. For example, shovel your neighbours drive way, hold a door open for someone at the mall, donate some food at the grocery store check out, or smile and say hello to a stranger the next time you’re out walking your dog.  If you’re feeling ambitious and have some time on your hands you can help other people do some good work.

Volunteerism in this region is something that the Volunteer Action Centre champions 365 days a year.   They should always be the first place you look to start a new volunteer experience.  You can find them on the web here or reach them by phone at 519-742-8610.

Their mission is take people like yourself who are looking to help and connect you with an organization that needs you. They were able to share a few suggestions with us to get you started (but you should still give them a call as they will find more opportunities as time goes by).  They are the following:

Aids Committee Cambridge Kitchener Waterloo and Area need people to help with their holiday dinner (contact Lynn 519-570-3687 Ext. 313).

Family and Children Services is looking for donations of new toys and winter clothes.  You can drop off at 65 Hanson Ave, Kitchener (parking off Ardelt Ave).

Grand River Hospital is looking for gift wrappers ( or 519-743-4300 x 7276).

Multiple Sclerosis Society is looking for gift wrappers (contact Kim 519-569-8789).

Ray of Hope Dream Centre is looking for help serving people in need (519-578-8018 x217 John Hill or Ken Wideman  519-497-6052).

Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for their annual kettle campaign (Denis at 519-894-9781 or and toy distribution (Major Jane Sheasby 519-745-4215 or

Canadian Blood Services is always looking for life saving donations of blood, consider attending a clinic near you.  You can find one in your area by clicking here.

And last but not least, the House of Friendship Christmas Hamper Program is looking for people to pitch in food to help make this a better Holiday Season for everyone.  The program officially gets underway today.  House of Friendship is expecting to deliver around 4000 hampers by the end of next week.

Volunteer drivers are needed for deliveries Monday December 12 to Friday December 16.  Volunteers are also needed to assist with packing from Monday December 12 to Thursday December 15, especially Thursday December 15.   You can get involved with the Christmas Hamper Program by calling Tony Bender at the warehouse: 519-725-2350.

Members of the public can also sponsor a turkey or hamper for a family in need. Donations to the Turkey Drive can be made on-line at or mailed or dropped off to the Erb & Good Family Funeral Home at 171 King St. S., Waterloo. Donations of non-perishable food items are also welcome and can be dropped off at the warehouse

Stay tuned to this space, twitter (@HOFKW) and facebook for more information on volunteering, inspiring stories from people who are pitching in for 12 days and stories of the positive impact people like you are making in Waterloo Region.

If you decide to Pitch In during the next 12 days let us know!  Tweet #PitchIn and #12days and spread the word!

United, we are stronger

November 14, 2011

You may have recently read about the United Way and its struggles to reach its campaign target this year. What does this mean for our community?

Through the House of Friendship (HOF), United Way helps thousands of people in our community living on low-income, people just like you and me.  Each year, HOF programs:  Emergency Food Hampers, the Charles Street Men’s Hostel, Live and Learn and four community centres benefit from the United Way funding thanks to the  many gifts and pledges that community members make through their workplace campaigns and individual donations. In short, thanks to United Way our community has a much stronger social safety net, which is important, especially through tough times like these.

House of Friendship staff support United Way; to date we have pledged $9,400 to HOF’s 2011 United Way Workplace Campaign.

Why do we support United Way?

At a recent internal United Way Workplace campaign event we asked this question and this is what staff had to say:

“I remember”

“I see the impact in the work I do every day”

We remember the people we serve, we remember the people who need a hand up.

“I’ve received”

Like everyone in this community, many of us have had difficult times that we have had to struggle through.  We remember what it’s like, and why the work we do is important.

“I can”

“I care”

“I have been given so much”

At the moment, we have the resources to share, we know it is important and because…

“It is love”

“It’s not mine to keep” and “I feel compelled to be inclusive”

Many of us do the work we do because we feel a strong sense of duty to make the world a better, more welcoming place, and to share our love for our neighbours.

The people we serve feel similarly.

It may surprise you to know that throughout the programs that receive funding from United Way program participants regularly volunteer.  As one program participant and volunteer at the Charles Street Men’s Hostel said during the recent United Way Day of Caring, “I’m volunteering to give back.”

And isn’t that what community is about?  Giving. Receiving. Sharing in the good times. Supporting each other through the tough times.

The United Way has shared its concerns and hopes for this year’s campaign.  As a community and individuals we have a choice about how we respond.  House of Friendship staff have chosen to step up. Join us.

Think about YOUR reason for giving and support United Way and our community. We all benefit.