Volunteer Profiles

Meet our Volunteers!

Meet Kimberly, one of our amazing Volunteer Drivers. Kimberly decided to get involved as a volunteer after driving by one of our ‘Help Needed’ signs. She has always been involved in her community – but helping support children and families is just a bonus for her. In her current role as a volunteer driver, she sees the impact of her contributions in the reactions of children and their caregivers. She sees the importance of having the same consistent driver each time and how this helps children have a positive start to their day.

Kimberly loves being a Volunteer Driver! The car is often a safe space for the kids, and they will tell her the funniest stories. Being there for the kids she drives is so rewarding. She loves that a small gesture makes such a huge difference. She has learned many jokes, been introduced to new music, and has learned all about Pokémon. This keeps her young at heart. One of her favourite memories was pulling up on the first day of school into the driveway of 2 children that she had been driving to school for the past school year. She immediately saw their grins, and when they opened the car door, they had the biggest greeting for her. It was like no time had passed at all. It made her smile to realize how something as simple as a ride to school, meant so much to the children she supports.

Kimberly regularly drives for us 5-6 days a week!!! WOW – Truly we cannot thank you enough for your gift of time and the connections you make with so many children & youth!!! And she doesn’t end it there – she is also looking to volunteer with us as a Family Mentor this year.

Thank you, Kimberly, – for going above and beyond to provide support to the children and families in our community!!! We couldn’t do this work without your help!!

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Volunteer Driver or Family Mentor with us – please email us at volunteer.services@facswaterloo.org or phone us at 519-576-0540

Janet

Meet Janet, one of FACS Waterloo’s Life Book Volunteers. What is a Life Book? A Life Book is more than a photo album or scrapbook. It contains written information and explanations of the significant events in the lives of children and youth. It is an illustrated, coherent narrative for children who are in care. A life book will help a child put together their identity, which may have become fragmented from important events and significant people. The life book story, while approaching the child's past with honesty and compassion, looks to the future with hope.

Janet has been a valued Lifebook volunteer for the Agency since the summer of 2016. She has created many beautiful and treasured Life Books for children in the care of the Agency, most of whom were in the process of being adopted. The adoption team would like to thank Janet for her wonderful dedication to this important aspect of our work. After the pandemic, Janet was the only Life Book volunteer to return, and we are so grateful for her dedication! Janet brings her lovely personality (and her tech savvy skills) to all the work she does. She is wonderful to work with and always makes sure the projects continue to move forward.

Janet joined us after her retirement from the school board. Her work was always focused on children – so said why her retirement would be any different. She loves the good feeling of helping a child. She feels strongly that all children have a right to feel safe and loved. Being a volunteer in the Life Book process, you get to hear how this book can bring comfort to both children and their family. When a child receives their Lifebook, it provides them with the opportunity to learn about their past in order to connect them with their future.

Thank you, Janet, – for going above and beyond to provide support to the children and families in our community!!! We couldn’t do this without your help!!

Resilience

Meet our Resiliency Project Group Volunteers!
Say hello to the dynamic team of volunteers shaping the magic of the Integrated Artistic Production every Monday and Tuesday—Taras, Grace, Peter, Brad, and Skye. This dedicated group brings a mixture of talents and creativity to the program. The Integrated Artistic Production team is the heartbeat of our creative space, working collaboratively to bring diverse artistic visions to life. From script development to stage design, musical composition to costume creation, this ensemble of volunteers breathes life into every facet of the production. Their artistic transformation takes place in the heart of our community, transforming ordinary spaces into canvases of imagination and creativity at the family centre.

Thank you, Taras, Grace, Peter, Brad, and Skye, – for going above and beyond to provide support to the children and families in our community!!! We couldn’t do this without your help!!

Meet Devon & Rebecca:

When we are approached by someone interested in a volunteer position, we don’t expect to get a 2 for 1. One enquiry for volunteering = 2 Volunteers.

That is how it happened for volunteers, Devon and Rebecca. They are not the only couple who support our agency as volunteers. We have several partners who volunteer with us in various positions across the agency.

When we first met – they were both so excited to start in positions that were suited to their own interests and personalities. Rebecca loves driving – and was eager to get started as a Volunteer Driver. Devon was looking to volunteer in a one-to-one role.

We placed Devon as a mentor with a young child who needed some fun outings. Because their positions have many similarities connected to engagement – they enjoy debriefing various scenarios after they volunteer and can support each other’s journey. This helps them both to develop their skills and support future interactions with the children and youth they work with.

Devon shared a story from a time he had planned what he thought was a fun activity at the Idea Exchange in Cambridge for him and his mentee. When they got there the child was more excited just going up and down on the elevator!

What he learned from that experience was you never know what is going to be the fun-part of the activity – but you make the most out of each experience as you go. When you are in a mentor position – there is so much reciprocal learning happening. You learn from the mentee – just as they are learning from you.

As a Volunteer Driver, Rebecca interacts with a variety of children and youth. She loves being able to provide them with the space they need. Whether that’s being a listening ear or putting on a fun song to keep the mood light. “When you are part of their day, and you can start their day off with a smile, laugh and a positive interaction – you set them up for the rest of their day in a good way”. Recently Rebecca drove a youth to school, and they had the best conversation. When they youth got out of the car – she walked away but Rebecca caught the “look back” and the smile from her and just knew that she had been part of that good start to the day for that youth. Those little moments have so much impact and the more they volunteer with us, the more they know that they need to do more. They will be moving into the foster side of the agency soon and we are all so excited to follow along on their journey.

Their advice to new volunteers is to be open to all the new experiences you are going to have – and be open to all ages. You might not know how much you will enjoy volunteering with a new age group – until you do it!!

Knowing that there is a need is what keeps them coming back to volunteer. It’s such an easy-ask, whether it’s doing one drive a week or meeting up with the mentee – it just fits into their week and enriches their own lives.

Thank you, Devon & Rebecca, – for going above and beyond to provide support to the children and families in our community!!! We couldn’t do this without your help!!

If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please go to Volunteer Opportunities (facswaterloo.org) or reach out by email volunteer.services@facswaterloo.org /by phone us today 519-576-0540.