Courtney’s Story

JamesCommunity Programs

In today's day and age, individuals both young and old encounter an endless amount of options and opportunities on a daily basis. Especially for adolescents and young adults, the abundance of options can make it difficult to define their path in life. I found myself in this exact situation, and I had a continuous sense of anxiety as I thought about my future. Fortunately, I was an active volunteer at Welcome Inn Community Centre, volunteering at both New Horizon's Thrift Store and the food access program. Whenever I felt lost or unsure of where to go next, I knew that I always had the north end community to fall back on. By providing both much needed social support and personal skill development, Welcome Inn quickly became the rock to my uncertain days of young adulthood.

Welcome Inn provides a meaningful volunteer experience to those seeking community involvement or skill development. Through participation in the various programs, a volunteer is able to identify their unknown passions. I learned through my volunteer roles that I enjoyed working with other people, and I drew on this newly discovered passion as I thought about my future. Through the passion, intelligence and kindness that were commonly displayed among program leaders, volunteers would feel sufficiently supported in their given role. And especially since the relationship of volunteer and leader was not based on power, but rather creativity, resiliency and commitment; volunteering felt less of a task and more of a friendly place of gathering and inspiration.

The work and efforts of volunteers and their leaders would never go unnoticed. Even in times of personal struggle or difficulties, the resiliency of the community would shine through and dominate. Whenever I felt down or stressed, I would be sure to feel uplifted after a volunteer shift at Welcome Inn. The charming and quirky personalities of the leaders would have a positive effect on volunteers, making it easy to replace worries with smiles and laughter. Although programs had a main objective, such as distributing food to those in need, there was always a subtle goal to ensure everyone was happy and engaged. It is very obvious within Welcome Inn that, regardless of what you have to offer, you always have a place in this community.

Regardless of all the options a person is presented with in their lifetime, they always have the option to engage in healthy communities. Especially during times of confusion, doubt or depression, a strong and resilient community is a crucial element to the success of individual members, for it is within these communities that individuals can experience a sense of belonging, friendship and support. I will be forever grateful in my choice to volunteer at Welcome Inn, as it has instilled a sense of determination to build resilient communities. --A Welcome Inn Volunteer