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Our monthly Volunteer Newsletter.
To celebrate the wondrous achievements of YOU,
the volunteers of HOPE House!

 

Gabrielle:
September Volunteer of the Month

Gabby is a model problem solver and is excellent at putting in place personal & professional  boundaries. We are fortunate to have her on our volunteer team in the HOPE Stylin' Clothing Market! 

Gaby, what brought you to HOPE House? 

I moved here and I’d never lived on my own. I had nothing. I was at the Community Mental Health Centre talking with my support worker and he mentioned HOPE House. I was really anxious because I’d never been for any help in my life because I was fortunate enough not to have to. But it came to the time when I had to. I was so nervous about coming in and my worker had said, don’t worry about it, it’s a nice place, the people are great.  I remember being at the bottom of the stairs and hearing everybody talking in the Cafe as I walked up. As soon as I went to reception they were so friendly with me. It was just incredible and they took me in for groceries and clothing and it was that day that I asked if I could volunteer because I just wanted to give back to the community. I just loved it here. I’ve been here about 5 years since.  

What do you like about volunteering at HOPE House? 

I like it when people come shopping and it makes them feel good. And they say “oh this is so nice to be able to come and shop” and I understand that  because I’m low budget too and I like to go out and shop and it’s just nice to see the smiles on their faces. We had one lady this morning and she was just so excited about finding a jacket and shoes and it’s just like, that’s great. That’s what I like about it. I love to see their day made.

The donations we get, we’re so fortunate. We didn’t used to get a lot of donations when we first started because we weren’t well known. Now people just drop things off and we get help from monthly Givers of HOPE like the Attic, Smitten, In Order Co., Consign Your Curves, and Giant Tiger. It’s really about community. They ensure we are guaranteed consistent, high quality donations. We get some incredible name brands and people get really excited about that too. It’s like, wow, Levi’s or Guess or Jacob Marcs. You’d never buy that. You could never afford it. So I really enjoy that. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt. 


And how have you seen HOPE House change people’s lives? 

I've seen a lot of people come to HOPE House and end up volunteering and feeling like they’re part of the community. They used to be alone and not talk and now they’re helping unload the van, in the kitchen, in the food market. There’s so much community at HOPE House. It’s been a big change since we first opened. There’s been a lot of changes for the better. A lot of the volunteers are friends. I have a lot of friends at HOPE House. There’s so many people that’ll say hi to me and I’ll say hi back and it’s really a community. It’s almost like family. I make plans to go out with people outside of HOPE House to do art, enjoy bbqs and that’s all new, in just the last year for me, really getting close to people. Because I used to be the same, right, not really getting close to people. But now that I’m here it makes me feel good, makes me feel like I’m loved. 

My support circle has gotten bigger and stronger. I don’t feel different here. I feel like everyone else. I feel a part of something. It’s like a big home here. We all sit down at lunch and talk together. Even if you never met the person before, you can just start talking and it’s like that’s what it’s about. That’s what community is supposed to be about. 

HOPE House Celebrates 7 Years!

September marks our 7th anniversary and we invite you to celebrate with us! 

You have two, yes TWO options, this year!

First option, celebrate with us on a weekday Thursday, September 26th between 11 am and 3 pm. Take in the sounds of Zach and Thomas while enjoying finger foods and cake.
 
Stick around til 12:45pm and get pumped for the following day's Stop the Stigma rally at City Hall with three guest community members sharing their personal experiences of addiction, stigma, and the healing power of supportive community.
 
Second option, join us Sunday, September 29 from 3-6 pm for a community-led celebration! 

This fun, family event will be free of charge and is for all members of the Guelph community. Come out and enjoy food, face painting, family activities and music from the famous Guelph children’s band the Funky Mamas. 
RSVP to Sunday's Party
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Lakeside HOPE House · 10 Cork St. E. · Guelph, Ontario N1H 2W8 · Canada

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