22 October 2014

VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION NIGHT (The Seeker, Oct 17th, 2014)

Volunteer appreciation group

By Heather Robertson

CORNWALL, Ontario – What’s up?

Balloons are up, banners are up, and spirits are high at the HABITAT FOR HUMANITY VOLUNTEER APPRECIATION SPAGHETTI FEED held recently at the Lions’ Club Hall in Bonville on a Saturday evening. The wonderful aroma let me know I was in the right place!

Volunteers from the local Habitat had prepared an amazing meal: two kinds of sauce, pasta, wonderful rolls, salads, veggies with dips, great desserts, and a gorgeous cake. Many young adults were there to help as well, getting in their volunteer hours for school. What a good experience, to be with all these dedicated folks. Live music kept us entertained and everyone seemed to have several skills to help out.

We were invited to get up by table number and we were sort of orderly, with lots of ribbing about who had connections, and got to go first! Our ticket to eat was a plastic spaghetti bib… now, how cool is that!!?? It was relaxed, casual, and so much fun. Folks moved to other tables to visit, and anyone alone was invited to join another group. I met my new friend, Tracy, in the food line. We reminisced about the afternoon we spent hours putting insulation into the attic on Maple Street. You should have seen us straddling the boards (struts?) up there, weaving and stretching, poking the insulation bats into tight spots with broom handles! Not many volunteers are as loyal to the organization as Habitat volunteers.

There were 12 lovely prizes to be won, and volunteers were given 10 tickets for every 100 hours they had volunteered. Some folks had miles of tickets, and needed help checking their tickets when a lucky number was announced. There are so many ways to help, and age, gender, building skills, experience don’t prevent you from helping. Patrick and Gaetan and the other super Supers were able to demonstrate what was needed, never making a person feel helpless or useless. I remember coming down from that attic and drooling over the wonderful iced chocolate cupcakes someone had dropped off. You don’t have to hold a hammer to help!!

Cake was cut and was magical…it disappeared in no time. Speeches were kept to a minimum, special folks were honoured, and everyone felt included. I was so delighted to be there, and hope to make it again next year. If you are not sure how you could contribute to a build or some other project, call Judi David at the ReStore in Bonville, at 613-938-0413, ext. 205.There’s a helmet and safety shoes waiting for you!!

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