Being a volunteer gives you some very interesting opportunities to connect with people and use the gifts and abilities you have to help others. Volunteering means sharing some of your time with great people who may just become life-long friends!
Here at Naomi House, we have the privilege of walking alongside many Newcomers to Canada as they experience their first year here. Because many refugees are anxious, terribly missing friends and family back home and totally uncertain of what to expect in Canada, they greatly benefit from interaction with volunteers in many ways! They are comforted and given confidence by having someone go with them to get their Health Card, open a bank account and apply for a Social Insurance Number. They are helped and learn a lot when a volunteer takes them grocery shopping and helps them pick out suitable winter clothes. They are encouraged and strengthened by the new friendships that develop with volunteers. They are offered hope as they learn from volunteers about God’s love and care for them. For a Newcomer, having a group of caring volunteers to help them during their first year in Winnipeg is the difference between floundering and flourishing in their new country.
Sara* and I were driving around Winnipeg doing settlement tasks for her and her family when she told me she had recently talked with her mom who still lives in Sara’s home country. Sara looked at me, eyes shining brightly and with a big smile on her face, said she told her mom that she has a friend in Canada named Molly. She said her mom is so happy for her to already have a friend!
Naomi House is looking for volunteers who want to help and care well for Newcomers in our city. We are looking for people to volunteer who would like to build friendships and make meaningful connections with great people from all over the world! Do you have some time in your schedule that would allow you to step into the life of a Newcomer? Or do you have administrative skills you would enjoy using to help in the office at Naomi House? Newcomers are greatly benefited when volunteers make applications on their behalf for the Manitoba and Federal Child Benefit, Rent Assistance, Public Transportation pass, GST reimbursement, Traveling Documents, the Harvest Food Bank and a Library Pass.
By volunteering at Naomi House, you enable us to help more and more incoming Refugees. You enrich their lives as you share your time with them and I think are in turn, greatly enriched yourself! You get to experience the warmth and graciousness of another culture, eat yummy food while at the same time honoring the refugee by trying something special from their home culture. Perhaps most importantly, you are reflecting God’s heart of care for those who are lonely, afflicted and vulnerable.