By Heather Heasman, Wood’s Homes volunteer
I was asked to write about why I volunteer at Wood’s Homes. I could write about the amazing programs for children and families who are literally at the end of their ropes. No place else to go; no one else to help. I could write about the schools that can be found at Wood’s Homes’ Parkdale and Bowness campuses, not to mention the partnerships that Wood’s holds with the CBE providing youth mental health support in a variety of CBE schools. I could tell you about the work of the busy Community Resource Team and our Eastside Walk-in Clinic, sadly bursting at the seams these days. Yes, I could write thousands of words about the 38 programs Wood’s Homes offers, and the clients, successes and stories that would break your heart, because all of these things have motivated me to volunteer with Wood’s Homes for the past 14 years. However, I’ve decided to focus on something that isn’t talked about enough. I hope you enjoy it.
Have you ever wondered how places like Wood’s Homes keep the lights on day-in and day-out? Remember, this is a 24/7 operation. I will tell you that, apart from the necessary support of donors and funders, it is the team at Wood’s Homes that rises to the occasion every day to serve those who need it the most. This is heavy lifting. Yet, in all of my time as a volunteer, I don’t recall a conversation where there was mention of how hard the work was. What I have witnessed is a ‘Never Give Up’ attitude, a passion to solve problems, social entrepreneurship at its finest and an unending ability to forgive. Without the people of Wood’s Homes, thousands of children and families in this province and across Canada would be left behind. I volunteer at Wood’s Homes so that I can support its amazing team in any way that I can in order to help carry the weight. We are all in this together and together we make a difference.
You can be a part of it too! Come to our ‘Never Give Up’ Gala on September 10 and meet some of those who keep watch over child and family mental health. Come and hear their stories and the stories of those they have helped. Click here to get tickets.
You’re always welcome to come for a tour at Wood’s Homes. “We never say no, we never give up, we never turn anyone away.” I invite you to learn more about this fantastic organization. I look forward to seeing you soon – either at the Gala or on campus.
A certain kind of person dedicates themselves to the children and youth who come through our doors. It takes a special mixture of compassion and tenacity grounded in a belief for a better future. To learn more about the passionate people who define our organization, check out our 2015-2016 Annual Report.
Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends, family and community – let’s work together!