Volunteer Profile: Alyssa’s Story

Alyssa, a volunteer at Shelter Movers Greater Toronto, is truly a renaissance woman. When she isn’t earning a PhD in Health Services Research, she’s either volunteering at Shelter Movers or teaching kickboxing classes! Even at Shelter Movers, Alyssa’s role is always expanding to meet whichever need is the greatest in the organization. Alyssa has been everything from a lead mover, to a move coordinator to a member of the scheduling team. 


Like many Shelter Movers volunteers, Alyssa really likes the flexibility that comes with her role. “I log in whenever I can, usually between classes or if I have some free time.” Alyssa joined Shelter Movers two years ago while she was working at The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. 


“I wanted to do something good. I googled volunteer opportunities in Toronto and I saw a post for Shelter Movers,” Alyssa recalls. “I contacted them despite not knowing much about them, but that’s obviously changed and I really believe in what we’re doing. I’ve even successfully recruited a few people to join!”


Since that Google search, Alyssa’s decision to volunteer at Shelter Movers has affected her life in ways she never expected. “My PhD research is about gender based violence,” says Alyssa. “Actually, I chose that partly because of Shelter Movers.” Alyssa’s PhD work allows her to participate in a research project based in the United Kingdom that is trying to determine how a computer game could affect school-aged children’s conceptions of gender-based violence. The research project aims to understand how norms around gender-based violence can change for the better through tools like this computer game. 


Despite not knowing exactly what she was volunteering for at first, Alyssa has become a true advocate for Shelter Movers. “What Shelter Movers does for our communities is super practical and tangible,” says Alyssa. “Gender based violence is so common, this is work that needs to be done.”


Alyssa believes that every volunteer counts, and she gets to see first hand the difference volunteers can make in the lives of Shelter Movers clients. “As a volunteer, you know that when you’re driving off in that empty cargo van, our clients get to start a new chapter in their lives.”

Interested in volunteering with Shelter Movers? Visit https://sheltermovers.com/volunteer/. We look forward to meeting you.

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