Volunteer Feature: Meet Ghadeer
National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration of the millions of individuals who give their time and talents to help others. This week is a time to recognize and thank volunteers for their contributions to communities across the country and at our Food Bank.
Volunteers like Ghadeer!
Ghadeer joined our volunteer team in the summer of 2019 when our Food Bank started its Fresh Food Recovery program – a program that recovers fresh food from local grocery stores every morning.
“I landed in Canada in October 2018, so I was a newcomer when I joined the food bank. I wanted to join a place that serves newcomers and vulnerable people.”
Ghadeer loves giving back to the community and mentions how volunteering has helped prepare her for employment. “Volunteering has helped me with my self-esteem and confidence when interacting with other volunteers and employees.”
“We’re so grateful for all that Ghadeer brings to the team,” said Rebecca Thuro, Food Bank Program Supervisor. “With the help of volunteers like her, we are able to process and equitably distribute food to over 4,500 individuals each month.”
“She’s the biggest sweetheart, offers great advice and creates a warm work environment,” said John Dunning, Fresh Food Recovery Coordinator.
Ghadeer speaks Arabic and has helped translate between clients and staff. She’s also offered insight into how the Food Bank can better meet the dietary requirements of their Arabic-speaking clients.
“Having volunteers from different backgrounds, with diverse abilities and various life experiences strengthens our ability to address food insecurity in Abbotsford and be more welcoming to all. Ghadeer inspires us to reach out of our comfort zones, extend the hand of friendship and invites others to do the same,” said Thuro.
Ghadeer sees the value in volunteering, not just for clients, but for volunteers too! She says it’s important for volunteers to be flexible and keep an open mind. “Volunteering is a great opportunity to meet people from all walks of life.”
“I would like to personally thank each one of our 1000+ volunteers for your generous gifts of time, caring and expertise – Archway couldn’t possibly operate our 90+ programs & services without your involvement!“
– Rod Santiago, Central Executive Officer