Sana, Lead Mover, Shelter Movers, spent 6 years overseas working and earning her Master’s in ‘Policy, Media and Communication’ in the UK. When she returned to her hometown Toronto, one of the first things she did was join Shelter Movers as a way to meet people and reacquaint herself with the city.
When Sana first joined, she had limited exposure to issues around gender-based violence but was committed to learning more about it. In fact, she was a recipient of Shelter Movers’ ‘Commitment Award’ and has since become a strong, informed advocate, “it isn’t about policy development, but about helping out in a concrete way,” says Sana. “Just picture something heavy [i.e. furniture] and getting your stuff from one place to another. [Without Shelter Movers] people would otherwise struggle to pull this together on their own.”
When asked about why she continues to volunteer at Shelter Movers, she says that Shelter Movers “fosters a sense of community. There is often a tendency to treat volunteers as one-offs, but with Shelter Movers, you feel like you’re a member of the community. It’s an organization that builds on your strengths and helps volunteers get involved in different ways.”
Sana’s most rewarding experience has been developing meaningful connections with clients, and some have left a lasting impression on her. “[Our] clients are warm, sweet and try to keep a positive outlook on life even when they’re going through such a difficult period in their lives.” Sana explains her time with Shelter Movers has been humbling and has put things into perspective. She realized that survivors sometimes have to decide what they will take or leave behind when fleeing, and how the non-essential becomes the essential, “certain things provide survivors with a sense of security and comfort. I hadn’t thought about things in this way.” Sana recognizes the value of the work Shelter Movers does for women in Canada, and she hopes it expands its work to help women across the globe.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Shelter Movers, be sure to visit our volunteer page for available opportunities.