Nicole believes in giving back to her community. An editor by profession and a mother of young children, she was raised to be a community advocate, and find gaps where community members might step in and help out. Even when living oversees she found ways to volunteer, and that volunteering in her adopted communities helped her feel like she was part of a bigger wave of positive change in the world.
“It helps you integrate and find your space in your community on a deeper, more meaningful level .”
Nicole began volunteering with Homes First a year ago, just before the pandemic began. Hearing about Homes First through Councillor Filion’s office, she was driving by the Willowdale Welcome Centre when she decided to pull into the parking lot, walk in, and ask a staff member how she could get involved.
Though COVID-19 derailed many of Nicole’s plans to volunteer inside the shelter, she has still been able to give back by bringing in supports and connections from the community, and helping to coordinate donations and delivery of much needed PPE and other essentials. She has also been working with the Community Engagement team to get workshops and other programs started.
While Nicole is eager to get back in the shelter and interact with residents and staff, she encourages others to find the gaps in their own communities and reach out in some way, whether by volunteering at a local shelter, donating a few items to the Food Bank, or simply checking in on a neighbour.
“It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, or take money out of your pocket. All acts of kindness, woven together, reinforce the fabric of our communities. ”
Thank you Nicole for your continued volunteerism and support of Homes First residents!