At FSCA we have many opportunities that we need volunteers, our agency is so fortunate to have such great people helping us out. Thank you for all that you do. We asked a few of our volunteers ‘What is your WHY”, these are their stories.
When I retired from my job in 2009, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I wanted to continue to DO something to
keep my mind active, and to fill my time. I wanted to do something that I enjoyed, but that would give something back to my community. I’ve always liked kids, so my initial thought was to volunteer in a school or preschool setting. When I first retired, I spent a lot of time with my mother-in-law, who lived in a senior’s lodge. I visited with her and her friends in the lodge and took her out for errands, appointments, and social events.
When she passed away in 2011, I really missed her, and started thinking that I’d like to work with seniors. Everyone likes children, but often in our society, seniors are lonely and forgotten. Family Services had a program called “Gifts for Grandparents”, so I brought a few gifts in and asked if they needed help. I helped deliver the gifts that year, and asked the girls at Family Services if they had any need for volunteers to work with seniors.
They had a program called the “Adult Day Support Program”, so I thought I’d give it a try. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it was for me. But from the beginning, I found that I really enjoyed working with these lovely seniors, and the giving, caring, individuals who ran the program. I have been working with this program since February of 2012, and like most volunteer “jobs”, I find that I am the one that benefits. I have met many new people, and enjoyed the company and wisdom of the many seniors who enjoy this program. I feel that I have a purpose in life, that I am making a difference, however small, and that I’m helping the girls out. I feel so appreciated when I go in! I am proud to be affiliated with Family Services, and have learned of the many programs that they run in our community. I still put in a few hours every year at their annual Children’s Festival.
Why did I start volunteering? I started volunteering to start my path to becoming a social work student at Red Deer College. I pick Family Services of Central Alberta because it was the place that intrigued me the most. FSCA offered multiple programs that dealt with populations I was interested in and I felt I would have the biggest impact with. I volunteered with the Families and Schools Together, which I absolutely feel in love with. F&ST is a very rewarding program to volunteer for and is wonderful to see the progress of the families from the first night to the last night. I continue to volunteer with FSCA because of the rewarding feeling it gives me to give back to my community, and it helps me develop skills that I hope to use while pursuing becoming a social worker. I always look forward to volunteering!
I volunteer because I personally believe that the world is too much fun and interesting when people have
the chance to enjoy it, I know what it is like to worry for days on end about finances, drama, and the future. FSCA helps families and I know that sometimes parents need help to make sure that their kids are able to be happy and get the most out of the opportunities they are given. I hope to continue volunteering with organizations similar to FSCA if not FSCA itself, because there is no faster way to improve a kids life than to have their parents there for them and love them unconditionally, FSCA helps parents do that for their kids and that is something that I want to be a part of for the foreseeable future.
Sue & daughter Layla
Here’s our why, I want to be a social worker and part of the application process is 100hrs of volunteer service in a related field. Volunteering started as a requirement for my desired field, but once I started my views quickly changed. My first position was at F&ST, I convinced my daughter to join me and that’s where the magic happened, I was able to serve my community and be a positive role model for these families as well as my own. I was nervous about what was in store for us at F&ST, I remember being so nervous the first night but once the families started coming through the doors and I was able to interact with all of them and see my daughter do the same, I was hooked. I left that first night on such a high and couldn’t wait for the next week. Every night I truly felt that we were making a difference in our community, and it felt amazing!
I have so many great memories of F&ST, I loved every moment! I’m so thankful that I was able to share this experience with my daughter, it has truly made our relationship stronger. I also feel incredibly grateful for the guidance and leadership that I was given by Kathleen, there were so many moments when I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing, she was always there with positive encouragement and made our experience so rewarding.
I was also fortunate enough to participate in the Adult Day Support Program, this program warms my heart. Friday is my favorite day because of these people, clients and staff alike. I look forward to it all week! This whole experience is fantastic! I would recommend volunteering to everyone! I can’t express enough how happy volunteering makes me feel. The smiles and gratitude from clients have been forever etched in my mind. I have met the requirements for my education, but I am nowhere near finished lending a hand. Thank you Family Services of Central Alberta
Trying to come up with good reasons why I volunteer. Its selfish but it really makes your heart and soul feel better. Thinking you may have put a smile on a seniors face or given a warm fuzzy to someone is hard to explain. To think that some seniors are literally forgotten about is too hard to imagine. I wish we could do things all year for them!!
I’m so lucky to have so much in my life it hardly feels like we do anything except sort, fill bags, organize, keep newbies informed about our matching and color coordinating of scarfs and such. Lol, that was a joke. We know how much everyone appreciates what we do, and we keep coming back because now its part of what we do every year.
I start planning new things for the bags as soon as January hits. I’ve convinced my husband that I really need to hit up the dollar stores at least once a week for little things. He doesn’t believe me but is always willing to think of things too. He remembers his Grandma living in a seniors care home and how much she loved a blanket she got one year as a gift. That was almost 25 years ago and he still smiles when he remembers that. To think we could do that for someone is all we need to keep filling those gifts for grandparents bags. One last thing, I think its awesome that somehow we ended up with seniors helping seniors, go grannies!
Volunteering has been a part of my life since I was a young girl, it is a part of what makes me – ME. I feel that time spent is so much more valuable than money spent, it gives you an inner glow that money cannot and will not ever do. You see instant results, the smile on a person’s face or the wonder in the fact that you thought of them because you wanted to not because you had to. Working with Gifts for Grandparents & the amazing staff at FSCA has brought such joy to MY life that works simply can’t convey. I feel that anyone who does not volunteer is missing out on a great opportunity to enhance their lives.
As you can see, we all wear different hats! I have always volunteered in some capacity, but since retiring have been able to focus my time on the activities I feel most passionate about. For me, the “Gifts For Grandparents” program is tied for #1 spot! (the other is the therapy dog visitation). This relatively new endeavor focuses on bringing a little happiness to seniors at Christmas, and with the generosity of the community, I think we are succeeding in increasing the number of senior smiles.
Volunteering is a win- win situation; I win, the recipients win, and the organization wins. How can that possibly be topped? The personal satisfaction is amazing; sometimes I think it may be selfish to find it so enjoyable. The staff of FSCA are incredible – caring, receptive, inclusive and hardworking. It is a joy to volunteer with them and I hope they will have me back next year. Thanks FSCA.