This week is National Volunteer Week (April 24-30) and Choices for Youth (CFY) is celebrating its volunteers this week, and the empathy they provided to build stronger programs within CFY. The theme for 2022 is ‘Empathy in Action’, affirming the strong connection that both empathy and volunteerism goes hand-in-hand.
“Empathy is a quality that can help people relate to others and build awareness around different experiences. It connects people in ideas and actions and helps create bonds forged in common goals and aspirations.” – Librarianship.ca
Over the years, CFY has had numerous volunteers all with the leading practice of empathy and compassion- practices that have been essential to the programs within CFY. Many of our volunteers have developed relationships with young people and continue to provide a sense of familiarity among them, showing that empathy holds the potential to create more resilient individuals and stronger communities.
One of CFY’s many volunteers, Monique, has been volunteering with CFY at our Outreach Youth and Engagement Centre kitchen for a number of years, alongside her husband helping Chef Lois prepare home cooked meals for youth who access the centre.
“It's about second chances. Its about learning about people, and learning things about relationships, being in the kitchen is very important because it's about helping others have a great meal. “Says Monique, a dedicated long-term CFY volunteer “We've seen the youth in the last six years grow and go into different directions of their journey and it's very satisfying."
Our volunteers are active throughout our community as well in our Momma Moments program, volunteering their time to the multiple Momma Moments locations in Paradise, Conception Bay South (CBS) and St. John’s. Their work throughout the community has helped shape the resources that young mothers can access, and ultimately aid in their progress.
“I think that the youth would be lost without Choices. I think Choices is a daily choice for them, and an area where they feel safe and I think that's super important. They have all kinds of tools that are provided to them and give them better direction and Choices has many programs, it gives them hope and it gives them a future.” Says Monique “Choices gives the youth many more avenues in their lives and it's very heartwarming to see the youth and the counsellors here at Choices interact and enjoy each others companies and know that life will be better. "
Throughout the year, volunteers in the community come to support CFY and its efforts to build programs and resources through funding initiatives. Many of our annual events, such as Coldest Night of the Year and A Wicked Time are a success due to volunteers who dedicate their time and empathy to ensuring the events run smoothly and raise resources to provide funding that support youth programming and future CFY initiatives. We truly appreciate our event volunteers, their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.
Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers in our community, you make a difference to the young people you serve and continue to bring empathy, compassion, and dedication to the CFY organization. Your hard work and dedication make a difference to the CFY organization!
If you or someone you know needs help, please reach out to the Outreach Youth and Engagement centre by calling (709) 754-3047 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org