“I wear a suit on Bay Street on weekdays, and on weekends, I do this,” explains Mark, Lead Mover, Shelter Movers Toronto. Mark, a Vancouverite turned Torontonian, has been volunteering with Shelter Movers for just over a year while working as a financial analyst.
As a mover, Mark’s crucial job is to safely move survivors and their children in the Toronto Metro Area. He stumbled on Shelter Movers online and hasn’t looked back since. “I wanted to do something productive. I was drawn to Shelter Movers because it was something different than your average volunteer opportunity.”
He likes that Shelter Movers allows volunteers to make a difference while ensuring that it fits into their schedules. “It’s super flexible. You’re not committed to a certain time or anything like that. When I can, I aim for every other weekend.” Shelter Movers’ movers can sign up to help out as frequently as they would like to. But it’s not all about scheduling, the real differentiator for Mark is the people that he meets. “There are people from all different kinds of careers and ages,” says Mark. “You actually run into the same people sometimes, and because you’ve already shared this experience together, you connect deeper.”
Mark is a part of the over 13 million Canadians who volunteer. The third most common reason that Canadians volunteer, is because they’re personally affected by the cause. In Mark’s case, the opposite is true. “I grew up in a stable, middle class family where home has always been a safe and supportive place,” says Mark. “Of course I’ve had challenges but I’ve never seen this side of society before. People have to move with 10 black garbage bags, they just have to pick up their lives and go.”
“It is definitely hard.” Mark said, when asked if he found this volunteer work to be difficult. “But it’s moving to see their resilience through these hardships. You get to see your impact in real-time and you get to meet these strong, inspiring people.”
Mark, and other volunteers like him, make a lasting difference in the lives of our clients regularly. “We are hopefully the start of a new life, a positive life,” says Mark about Shelter Movers volunteers and the service they provide. Without volunteers like Mark, Shelter Movers wouldn’t be able to ensure that survivors are able to get the fresh start that they deserve.
Interested in volunteering with Shelter Movers? Visit https://sheltermovers.com/volunteer/. We look forward to meeting you.