Thursday, November 26, 2020
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Fontbonne Ministries: The Gift of Volunteering

From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
On April 26, 2015, over 80 people gathered at St. Paul’s Basilica Parish Hall to attend Fontbonne Ministries’ Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Volunteers, staff and Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto mingled and enjoyed lunch in surroundings decorated with colourful banners, balloons and flowers.
With conversation, speeches, slide shows, music and food, everyone celebrated the gift of the volunteers who had contributed their time, energy and enthusiasm to the different ministries.
After a splendid meal, Sister Thérèse Meunier, CSJ Congregational Leader and President of the Board of Directors of Fontbonne Ministries, thanked the volunteers. “We are grateful for each of you,” said Sister Thérèse, “and for the blessing you are to us and to all the participants in Fontbonne Ministries.”
As people enjoyed coffee and dessert, a slideshow of photographs showcased moments from different ministries over the last 15 years. 
At different points over these years, volunteers have been asked to share their feelings about volunteering. Many responded by expressing their gratitude, describing volunteering as a gift they themselves received.
One volunteer, Bernadine, was glad for the opportunity to offer her skills in sewing and knitting to programs at Mustard Seed. “I love going there,” said Bernadine, “and knowing that I have something that I can share with others.”
Others expressed their delight for the people they had met at the different ministries. “I love seeing smiles on faces and contributing to that happiness,” said Thelma, who volunteers at Village Mosaic. A Faith Connections volunteer, Marie-Lauren, remarked, “I’ve really been able to connect with people and create a sense of community and belonging.”
Another volunteer, Thurstan, was grateful for the chance to make a difference with In Good Company. “The problems of this world are huge, but as volunteers, we can look at these problems one person at a time.”
Adele, who volunteers with Village Mosaic, spoke of the teamwork involved. “Volunteering,” said Adele, “is part of my belief that we can make things easier for everyone if we all help a little.”
Ibrahim Ng
Other stories from this issue of Springs of Hope:

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