A bite of information | Blog
Empathy In Action
To mark National Volunteer Week, April 24- 30, we want to celebrate the people who help feed hungry Calgarians all year long. Last year alone, volunteers logged close to 96,500 hours (about 11 years) of time at the Calgary Food Bank, and we couldn’t be prouder to work side-by-side with some of the kindest, most empathetic people in our city.
The national theme this year is “empathy in action’ which affirms the strong connection between volunteerism and empathy. This profoundly human connection is at the heart of healthier individuals and stronger communities.
In preparation for the week, we asked our volunteers what they like best about volunteering at the Calgary Food Bank. Janice St Anne explains that when she decided to volunteer with us, she made an excellent choice,” the staff make you feel welcome, and they are very kind and helpful. I started in sorting, moved to distribution, and loved it. I got to meet the clients and help them with what they needed. They were always grateful and always said thank you”. She said it was the best part of her week and made a bad day, better. After seven years of volunteering, Janice had to step back to care for a loved one, but she says: I made a lot of friends. It is an experience I will never forget. “You have all touched my life; you are wonderful people…”
Volunteering can help us develop empathy to see the world through the eyes of others. It can connect people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, expanding our views. It can build our capacity to work collectively and contribute to a vibrant, inclusive society.
Janice Duncan, another invaluable person who gives their time at the food bank, says, “Volunteering is good medicine for the soul. I thoroughly enjoy my work there and really like working with the other volunteers on my shift. Everyone is giving their best effort to make you feel comfortable, needed, and appreciated. Most people never get that from their ‘real’ job, so it is certainly nice to see it at an organization like the Calgary Food Bank. Where would places like this be without volunteers? Volunteers are often the glue that binds the structure of a great organization together! I am proud to be one.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
Volunteering, putting empathy into action, can build communities where people feel happier, healthier, and more welcome – creating a more vital, more connected place to live. A great big thank you to all our volunteers for giving the gift of time, only TOGETHER can we fight hunger and its root causes.