CCAS Volunteer Supports Our Staff

March 14th, 2012
Jacqueline, CCAS Volunteer and Nicola Harris, Volunteer Supervisor

It CCAS we are truly blessed to have some amazing volunteers. Without these generous people who donate their time and energy, we could not provide the array of supports and services that we currently do.

Jacqueline is one such volunteer at our Scarborough office – she helps with administrative duties, taking on additional tasks to help out our staff. Her spirit and enthusiasm also brighten the day of everyone she deals with.

Life has not always been easy for Jacqueline. She suffers from Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis – conditions that make it impossible for her to hold down a full-time job and which cause considerable pain. Doing volunteer work allows her to feel productive and to make a difference in her community with the sort of flexibility that her health issues require.

Jacqueline’s Volunteer Supervisor, Nicola Harris, is glad that she is part of her team. Each volunteer has a Supervisor to guide them through the training and orientation process and to assign them volunteer duties. Nicola feels lucky to be working with Jacqueline, who is always a positive presence in the office. “Despite her health concerns she never lets us down and she makes a point to attend on her scheduled days, even when she does not feel one hundred per cent,” says Nicola. “Jacqueline has spoken to me numerous times about how fulfilling her volunteer position is and how it has provided her with a sense of purpose.”

“I was inspired to volunteer for Catholic Children’s Aid because of a deep desire to give back to society what society has given me,” Jacqueline explains. “I want to be a positive role model for young people and children and to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.”

She admits that volunteering was overwhelming at first and that she was tempted to give in to her health challenges, but Nicola’s support and reassurance helped to motivate her. “When I first met Nicola, she was so warm – I felt like I had known her my whole life when I’d only just met her. That feeling motivated me to travel all the way downtown on two occasions for training. Sometimes you meet a person who has a huge impact on you – for me, Nicola is that person. She inspires me and motivates me. She doesn’t know the impact she’s made on my life.”

As a volunteer, Jacqueline has flexibility in creating her own schedule. Nicola always supports her if she does not feel up to coming in, but knowing that Nicola is there helps Jacqueline get up and out of the house on days when she might not feel up to it. She is also inspired by being able to help in so many ways. As part of our Adopt-a-Family Christmas program, for example, she helped our staff with assembling the donor thank-you gifts and with other tasks. She particularly loved working on that program because she says, “it was a lesson in humility as it demonstrated to me how much we take for granted.”

For Team Administrative Assistant, Doris Vessaoker, having Jacqueline’s help during the busy Adopt-a-Family program, provided a pair of extra hands and positive energy. “Jacqueline is an extremely dedicated and committed volunteer; she is always smiling, willing to help and diligently works to complete her assigned tasks. It’s always a pleasure to see her in the office and is a definite asset to our Agency. We need more people like her,” says Doris.

Jacqueline hopes that her story will inspire others to consider volunteering. “I would strongly encourage anyone to spend time helping those who are in any form of need, no matter what. We all need help from time to time. Let us all participate in helping those who are in need.”

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About Us

We are one of four Children's Aid Societies in Toronto. Funded by the Government of Ontario and mandated by the Child and Family Services Act of Ontario, we provide child protection services 7 days-a-week, 24-hours-a day.

We work with Toronto's Catholic community to protect children from neglect and physical, sexual and emotional abuse.