National Volunteer Week is about acknowledging people who engage in their communities.
“This National Volunteer Week, we recognize the selfless contributions of our volunteers who, last year, donated close to 1.2 million hours of their time to the work of The Salvation Army,” says Michelle Weekes, The Salvation Army’s National Director of Volunteer Services. “It is because of volunteers that we are able to reach more people in need.”
“I had just graduated from college and couldn’t find work,” says Tiffany Grahl. “My husband heard a plea for Salvation Army volunteers on the radio and thought that the experience would give me an opportunity to develop new skills. And he was right.”
Four days a week, Tiffany volunteers at The Salvation Army’s community lunch program in Pembroke, Ontario.
“My main role at the lunch program is beverage server. I also peel potatoes, cut up vegetables and bake. I’ve not only learned more about safety in the kitchen and preparing meals for a large crowd, but interacting with our guests has made it easier for me to carry on a conversation.”
When Tiffany first started to volunteer with The Salvation Army four years ago she had a tendency to withdraw from social interaction. She says the volunteering has also been a good stress reliever for her.
“Volunteering takes my mind off my own stress,” says Tiffany. “Listening to people’s stories and attending to their needs means I’m contributing to society and helping others. I enjoy that.”
“We are only able to provide the programs and services that we do because of the dedication of volunteers like Tiffany,” says Lieutenant Kath Walker. “Tiffany is such an integral part of our community lunch program team and, whether it is helping to prepare meals or serving beverages, she always has a smile on her face.”