The Power of Serving your community through volunteer work – a view from the Next Generation
For the past 18 years, volunteers from the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada and the Halifax-Dartmouth Church of Christ have been volunteering regularly at a local “Sunday Supper”. This is an opportunity for members of our community to come together and provide a warm meal and an even warmer smile for those in our community who may be experiencing homelessness or other challenges in their lives. Each week about 200 to 250 of our “Guests” will drop in for a meal and fellowship. Supporting the Sunday Supper program is the Signature local program of the Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada.
We are grateful for all the volunteers who chip in to help make our support of this program possible. We had a chance to catch up with a couple of our Halifax volunteers, Jaylynn Skeete and Humberto Diaz to ask them about their experience serving with the Sunday Supper program and here is what they had to share:
First of all, thank you for volunteering with the Halifax Chapter, we could not do what we do without eager, dedicated volunteers like yourselves. What initially drew you to volunteer with HOPE worldwide Canada?
Humberto Diaz: “For the longest time I have always wanted to serve people and HOPE worldwide Canada provides opportunities for me to be able to do that”
Jaylynn Skeete: “Ever since I was young, my family has participated in HOPE worldwide Canada events, which I always enjoyed”
What is your favourite aspect of your time spent volunteering with us?
Humberto: “The chance to change the situation for those whom we are serving and the chance to change people’s lives”
Jaylynn: “Engaging with a wide variety of people from all ages and backgrounds and having the chance to hear their stories.”
Is there something you have learned or observed about the communities that we serve in that has helped you or had an impact on you in some way?
Humberto: “What has impacted me the most is that I get to live Jesus’ command to serve in Luke 14:13 “But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,” (NIV)
Jaylynn: “From serving in the community, I have observed many people facing immense trials and hardships in relation to poverty but have also seen them having joy. These individuals are enduring much more harsh trials than I have and many of them still manage to stand there smiling. This has helped me to have perspective regarding my own trials that may be far different than theirs. I can in some manner relate. If those facing much larger stressors and pain can continue to keep moving, they inspire me to do so as well. Individuals that I have talked to and connected with encourage me with their joy, love and strength during trials.”
Is there a motto or thought that motivates you to volunteer with and can you share a bit more about that?
Humberto: “Serve God, Love People”
Jaylynn: “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). I am motivated to serve and to love others because Christ has loved me. I am amazed by his love and it encourages me to strive to show that love to others. Volunteering with HOPE worldwide Canada gives me the privilege to do so.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you would like to add, to end our time?
Humberto: “Let’s explore how we can reach others who are even more vulnerable, like people in jail”