Did you know that there are more than 1,000 volunteers at WoodGreen? Volunteers play a vital role in many of WoodGreen’s programs and services, including Meals on Wheels, support for newcomers, our Income Tax Clinic, and our Walk-in Counselling Program (just to name a few!).
Our volunteers do amazing work all year round. So, they deserve to be recognized all year round too. And that’s what we’re going to start doing on this blog.
Each month, we’re going to profile a different WoodGreen volunteer to learn more about them and why they have chosen to volunteer at WoodGreen. It was hard to pick one volunteer to start off with. So, we’ve chosen TWO!
Meet Mushfiqa and Nahed!
Mushfiqa volunteers with WoodGreen as a screener at various COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinics in Toronto’s east end. The current U of T student decided to become a volunteer because of her strong desire to help people in her community and to learn new skills — like time management and organizational skills.
By volunteering at the pop-up clinics, Mushfiqa has also learned something else: the various barriers that people in her community face — especially, language barriers — in accessing vaccines.
“Before volunteering at Woodgreen, I never thought about how we can help when it comes to language barriers. I never realized how hard life can be for those who can't speak and understand English fluently,” she says.
For Mushfiqa, one of the best parts of volunteering is meeting new people and the positive feeling you get by giving back.
“Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and discover your ‘tribe’,” she says. “I definitely feel that I have found a sense of self by volunteering with Woodgreen.”
When Nahed arrived in Canada three years ago, she made a commitment to herself to contribute to her new country. Now, she is helping to make a difference as a volunteer with WoodGreen’s Syrian Support Program, which provides support to Syrian refugees arriving in the Toronto area.
Working as a volunteer has allowed Nahed to not have any gaps in her career as a parenting coach, by giving her the opportunity to lead art and kids’ activities and to develop her workshop organizing skills. And, for her, there are other benefits to volunteering as well.
“It helps me to make new friends and contacts, and increases my social and relationship skills and my self-confidence,” she says.
Even more, since volunteering at WoodGreen, Nahed’s English skills have improved dramatically. The experience has also given her the chance to demonstrate the value of volunteering to her children.
“Together we are not just talking the talk, but we are walking it. As a mother, this is most important to me,” she says.
Want to make a difference in your community? Visit our website to see our latest volunteer openings and find out how you can apply.