Why did you choose to volunteer with Homes First?
I believe that everyone should have a home. Growing up, I used to
pass a couple of people without a home on my way to school. I thought that it was unfair that I had a lunch box and they may not, so I used to give a man on the corner of Eglington and Yonge mine. This then snowballed into volunteering at Out of the Cold and giving buttered bagels away, around downtown Toronto.
During this time, I learned about Homes First. I always wanted to do more to fight against homelessness, and I admired the way that Homes First was making a difference in so many lives. Moreover, the specific work that Homes First does is very inspiring – the staff are kind, they call their residents by their names, and the agency not only provides a home, but so many more supportive services from health to employment services.
Do you have a personal connection to our mission that you would like to share?
What have you personally gained from volunteering?
I love teaching – and I especially love teaching art. Being able to share an activity that has been my outlet since childhood is special. I love seeing the same people show up to class each week, and it means a lot when someone is proud of their work. And while art is known to be healing, it’s really meaningful to see how it can empower people.
What do you love most about volunteering with Homes First?
What has been your biggest takeaway from your volunteer experience?
moments, I am better able to design and teach a class that incorporates where people are at. Moreover, really listening to what the class has to say has helped me provide better classes – by making sure that the materials I am using matches the ones that they are using, and to make drawings that are aligned
What are the challenges of volunteering remotely and how have you been able to overcome it?
It is true that connecting with people is a lot easier in person,
however, volunteering remotely has been such a creative process. The setup makes it look like I am truly teaching a class – with a camera pointing to the room of people, and with my camera centered on my drawing. Setting up these art classes has been such a creative process, in itself.
To overcome the difficulty of connecting to others virtually, I
have learned to spend time at the beginning and end of class, to talk and
listen to the staff and class.
Interested in volunteering with us? E-mail email@example.com!