There is never any shortage of work to keep operations at the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre running smoothly. Clothing and donations need to be sorted. Meals need to be prepared and served. Dishes need to be washed. Elevators need to be run. Beds need to be cleaned. The list is endless.

Many of these tasks are done by the clients themselves through our Client Volunteer Program.

But what seems at first glance to be primarily about helping with chores, is actually about so much more. In fact, the true value of the Client Volunteer Program is in the way it empowers the men and women we serve to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility over their time with us.

Many of our clients struggle with physical disabilities and mental illnesses which often prevent them from finding gainful employment. Without opportunities to volunteer — and the sense of self-empowerment that entails — many of these men and women would end up spending most of their days waiting for meals and appointments, and ruminating in unhealthy thought patterns and getting stuck in unhealthy habits of isolation.

Volunteering helps to pass the time, it encourages clients interact with staff and with one another. It facilitates the achieving of basic and measurable goals. And, perhaps most importantly, it keeps our clients always prepared for the work that responsibilities that come part and parcel with maintaining their housing should the day come when they move out into a place of their own.

I got the chance to work with ACV Cyril this morning in Hygiene, and I wanted to let you know how wonderful he is. Cyril picks up on routine very quickly and is always sure he is stocked with towels and supplies back there. Cyril has come in earlier than his start time every time he’s scheduled, and starts prepping Hygiene and making sure everything is clean and ready before we open up. Cyril does this all on his own without being asked, and is so diligent with his work. With anything he is taught, he makes an effort to learn how to do it correctly and efficiently. Thank you for bringing us such wonderful ACVs to our team, they are a huge help and we are all so thankful when they are around.   

Fanar

ACW

Hours Volunteered by Clients in 2015

Total Hours Contributed