Meet our Volunteers
“Volunteers form the backbone of our organization,” says Tim Bohr, Community Ministries Director for The Salvation Army in Chilliwack. “Without these precious individuals and their vital support we would be unable to feed the hungry, clothe the cold, provide shelter to the homeless and hope to the hurting.”
National Volunteer Week, April 12-18, 2015, gives The Salvation Army an opportunity to celebrate and thank the more than 164,000 volunteers who serve selflessly on our front lines. Their time and skills are critical to the Army’s ability to extend its reach far and wide in local communities, helping those who need it most.
When Janet retired, it was difficult for her to come to grips with the fact that her purpose and daily routine wasn’t there. Wanting to keep her mind and body active, she contacted The Salvation Army’s community and family services in Toronto to volunteer.
Two days a week Janet helps wherever she’s needed. You may find her advocating for someone experiencing homelessness, organizing and distributing food at the food bank or listening to people struggling through medical challenges.
“I get so much satisfaction out of helping others,” says Janet. “People are so grateful for assistance. It’s heartwarming when someone says ‘thank you, I’ve found a place to live’ or ‘I feel better having enough food for the week.’”
Patricia works full-time in the corporate world, but every Monday afternoon and evening she donates her skills and time to help prepare and serve meals to low-income people and those experiencing homelessness at The Salvation Army’s Feed the Need program in Halifax’s downtown core.
“Volunteering fulfills my desire to support my community,” says Patricia. “I admit that I’m tired at the end of the day, but it’s a good tired. It’s a tired that gives me a sense of self satisfaction and that I’ve done something to make my community a little less cold for some people.
“But don’t volunteer out of a sense of obligation, volunteer because you are passionate about something and care to do it.”
A contractor during 9/11, Tom came face to face with the horrific realities of war. As a result, he suffered with PTSD, which led to homelessness and drug abuse. Tom worked hard at recovery but had lost any sense of self-worth or purpose in life.
Today, Tom is a volunteer with The Salvation Army and helps wherever he is needed. You may find him serving meals to vulnerable people, sorting shelves in the food bank or even taking out the garbage. In any case, volunteering makes Tom feel good.
“I feel useful when I volunteer,” says Tom. “That recharges my self-worth and I leave every day feeling valued, loved and fulfilled. Why wouldn’t I want to come here?”
Hundreds of thousands of Canadians have found meaningful ways to make a difference in their local communities. Taking action is just a click away.
For more information on volunteering with The Salvation Army visit http://www.salvationarmy.ca/volunteer/.