Volunteer Stories: Natalie

July 20, 2017 | Written by

I’m from France, I’ve been in Canada for two and a half years. Two years in Montreal and now six months in Victoria. I’m the volunteer coordinator here and I’ve been volunteering for Anawim for five months.

I like how people here are very respectful to each other. I’m always surprised to see their smiles. They always have a nice word to say. I was surprised because they live in difficult situations but they still manage to smile and to be nice. It’s good to take back to your own life. If they can smile, I can smile.

Anawim is especially respectful of people’s pace [of recovery]. They don’t want to push people too soon to reach some sort of goal. Because there are support workers who just want to go too fast and here they are very respectful. They just take time, they learn to know each person. After that, if the guest wants help, they can help, but if they just want a meal here, they will be welcome for that. For help, they can ask, it’s a good way to make it easier for people [to receive the proper help].

Every kind of person comes to Anawim. There are all kinds of people. Young, old, women, men… It’s very open to everyone. It’s really non-judgmental. Everyone comes as they are and they are welcomed for that. From the first time I entered the house, there is just a really nice atmosphere here that I really enjoy. I like the possibility of doing many different things here. I do volunteer coordination, lots of administration and I also help to greet the drop in guests. They are very open to new ideas and new things.


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