Celebrating Our Volunteers

It's time to celebrate, we've reached our 600th move!

This month we celebrate National Volunteer Week! The theme for 2021 is The Value of One, The Power of Many

Gratitude and hope drive each volunteer to contribute to building a safer environment for everyone. Every day, dozens of volunteers leave their homes to help women and children to move towards a new beginning. Despite the current circumstances, they provide safety and support for all who feel vulnerable in their own home. We are so appreciative for our volunteers’ dedication to guarantee the physical and emotional safety of our clients.

Moving and storing one’s belongings is expensive, logistically complicated and physical and emotionally exhausting; however, the team at Shelter Movers Ottawa (SMO) always manages to help survivors to find a new life. Unfortunately, the pandemic has worsened the situation for many families in Canada, forcing them to stay with their abusers, leading to the inevitable increase of domestic abuse.

At Shelter Movers Ottawa, we are so proud and grateful for each of our team members who have joined forces to help the organization and achieve over 600 moves since its inception! For years, people from different backgrounds and of all ages have decided to step up and dedicate their time to make a change and we can say for sure that they have done a great job!

This post is dedicated to all our volunteers and highlights those who have chosen to share with us their heartfelt thoughts on their experiences at Shelter Movers Ottawa. The entire Shelter Movers Ottawa team wishes our volunteer team a happy National Volunteer Week! 

What is your favourite moment so far? 

“When I realized that two of the organizations I volunteer with are somewhat related.  I picked up a message from a Case Worker re a Client she had (with several children) that were being relocated to an apartment, the abuser would not let the mother take any furniture with her and the Case Worker was waiting on a response from Helping With Furniture regarding the essentials they could provide to this family before finalizing the move.”

"The couple of moves I helped with before I hurt my back were so special. Seeing a young mother settle in and know that she’d soon welcome her kids to their new home was incredible. ”

“It’s hard to choose a favourite moment. Speaking with new volunteers, especially the folks who are applying for Admin roles is exciting. I love to brag about what we do. Back when I was volunteering as an MC I got a call from a client whose move had happened the day before. She cried on the phone with me because she had just tucked her son into his own bed then slept soundly through the night for the first time in months. Needless to say, I was a little teary-eyed too. It was a powerful moment.”

"It’s hard to choose one actually, such as whenever the monthly newsletters are published for example. Or my very first move I’d say. As I never thought one day I can carry a whole mattress or a heavy armchair by myself. It may not a big deal to others but that’s a lot to me :). And the rewarding feeling when imagining our Clients excitedly look forward to starting the new brighter chapter in their lives, and I am one of those who helped them with that.”

What is the most rewarding aspect of your volunteer work with Shelter Movers Ottawa?

"Being part of a team, when each member or volunteer makes a positive difference in someone else’s life, makes me feel that I am contributing to improving and supporting the people of my community. Another rewarding aspect is when I deliver hot meals to Women's Shelters through SMO, which started mostly because of the COVID-19 situation. This aspect gets me out of the house and allows me to see how fortunate I am."

"The most rewarding aspect of volunteering with Shelter Movers on their communications team has been seeing SMO reach amazing milestones such as completing 500 moves or long distance moves from Waterloo to Ottawa and then being able to share those amazing stories through social media."

Why did you decide to volunteer with Shelter Movers Ottawa?

"I’m a feminist and passionate about women’s rights. I really connected with the mission of Shelter Movers, and it felt like a very natural fit with my own interests and values"

What would you tell someone who is considering volunteering with Shelter Movers?

"Go for it, there’s so much to gain! I’ve met some amazing new people, learned a lot of new information, and it’s given me a sense of fulfilment! I’ve never regretted my involvement with this organization and I look forward to continuing to contribute any way that I can!"

Our hearts are filled with gratitude and excitement after reading all these experiences. We encourage you to keep volunteering with Shelter Movers Ottawa and continue making a difference for hundreds of families in Canada. 

For more information please visit Volunteering with Shelter Movers Ottawa.

If you want to join our team of volunteers, please write to volunteerottawa@sheltermovers.com or visit sheltermovers.com/volunteer

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