1) What motivated you to become a volunteer or supporter of YWCA Niagara Region, and what does your involvement look like?
I wanted to be part of a team that is on the front lines of helping people here in St. Catharines. I’m a front desk volunteer with the YW and I also help out with an art group.
2) This year’s theme for National Volunteer Week is “Celebrate the Value of Volunteering – building confidence, competence, connections, and community”. What value has volunteering brought to your life? Have you experienced any of these “4 Cs”?
Volunteering has introduced me to the kindest, and also some of the strongest people in my community. The value of volunteering is immeasurable. I feel so blessed!
3) How do you make time for volunteering, and do you have any tips for those who are starting their own volunteer journey?
You can’t always find the time for volunteering, but find what time you can.
You might think that what little time you have isn’t enough, or wonder what you can accomplish in an hour. Every hour or two counts!
4) Are there any misconceptions about volunteering that you would like to debunk?
That it isn’t worthwhile because you aren’t being paid. As a volunteer, you are paid so thoroughly in gratitude and have the opportunity to meet people who can teach you a lot. When applying for a job, this experience can also help you to understand your strengths!
5) What experience, memory, or lesson from being part of YWCA Niagara Region has made the most impact on you?
There’s a lot of judgement out in the world for adults who need help, whether they are sick, in transitional housing, abused, or living hard on the streets. When you volunteer with an organization like this, what strikes you is how often people in the worst positions are the kindest you’ll ever meet. It’s a very humbling experience to understand that. It makes you want to help others to the extent of your abilities.
6) What would you like to see happen over the next 90 years of YWCA Niagara Region?
I’d love to see the YWCA’s funding increase to be able to house more families, hire more staff, and to possibly create a Niagara Region family shelter that allows single father and two-parent families with a male partner to stay together.