National Volunteer Week 2021: Marina

National Volunteer Week 2021: Marina

Marina never imagined that she would be volunteering at a Toronto shelter while living in Brazil. She had visited Toronto briefly a few years ago, so when the pandemic hit and she wanted to start volunteering, she began looking online to see how she could get involved with supporting a shelter in Toronto.

Thanks to the magic of the internet and technology, Marina was able to connect with Homes First and soon after, began offering an emotional support program via Zoom for the women at our Kennedy shelter.

A licensed psychologist living in São Paulo, Marina uses her skills to teach residents skills to help manage emotions like anxiety and anger in healthy ways, a vital skill as residents continue to live through a pandemic. Workshops vary from week to week but all focus on the main themes of being present and building healthier habits.

While running a group via Zoom is certainly different than working with people in person, Marina is happy to see how her workshops help people. She notes one resident who attends consistently and shares how she takes Marina’s exercises and puts them to practice in real life.

For Marina, running the group is not only an opportunity to give back in a global way, but also a chance to learn from residents about experiences and culture outside her own.

Thank you Marina for your continued volunteerism and support of Homes First residents!

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