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Volunteers play a vital role in Good Shepherd’s response to COVID-19

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“I know they need all the help they can get right now,”
Volunteers play a vital role in Good Shepherd’s response to COVID-19

In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 19-25), we recognize the dedication of volunteers across all programs at Good Shepherd. With the current challenges that we are facing as a community, we appreciate volunteers more than ever.

Good Shepherd annually welcomes more than 6,000 volunteers in various roles around the organization. If you would like information on how volunteer opportunities, please email volunteer@gsch.ca.

Tyler is the owner of Doors Pub, Taco Joint & Metal Bar in downtown Hamilton. His business was shut down on March 23, after the Ontario government ordered a closure of all non-essential business in during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m fortunate that I have enough savings to help me through this,” says Tyler. “And the government is now allowing takeout food orders and alcohol delivery so I can cover some of my overhead expenses.”

Since his business slowed down, Tyler has been volunteering at the Good Shepherd Marketplace twice a week helping to stock shelves, clean and do whatever is needed of him.

“A lot of young people are carrying the workload of essential services right now and many volunteers are seniors who can’t be out here,” says Tyler. “I felt like I should step up and do my part to help out the community.”

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Vi, with the help of her son Scott and her friend Frank, have been volunteering with Good Shepherd since 1987, before the organization had even established a formal volunteer program.

“It started with our church being involved, St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Parish, and we’d volunteer at the old food bank on Mary Street,” says Vi. “I remember being so excited when they got a shipment of carrots that needed sorting.”

Over the years, the trio have helped with many programs at Good Shepherd from sorting food donations to serving hot meals and helping with the annual Christmas programs. She credits her faith in God as a driving force in her determination to help the less fortunate.

“I’m so proud of the work that Good Shepherd does,” she says. ”We’ve been happy to help wherever we’re needed.”

Vi is a volunteer and regular donor to Good Shepherd. In the past she has collected donated goods from her friends and neighbours and sorted everything out in her garage.

“Working as a team is what has made this volunteer experience so enjoyable,” says Vi.

At the age of 87, Vi says she is not afraid of volunteering during this crisis. She is cautious and makes sure to maintain proper physical distancing while volunteering. Recently, her team has increased their commitment from one to two days per week.

“I realize that many volunteers have decided to take break during this time,” she says, “but I also know that people in this community need all the help they can get right now.”

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