Many hands make light work. This common saying is at the heart of the Do Gooder philosophy – if we all pitch in, our combined efforts make a community where all can belong and thrive, a just community where no one is left out.
The “many hands” approach was fully evident at this week’s House of Friendship Christmas Hampers program. There, dozens of volunteers have been hard at work – building boxes, filling bags with oatmeal, oranges and apples, or placing cans in boxes as they pass through the assembly line.
It’s easy to be inspired, while walking around the room.
On the assembly line is Elmer Sauder, who, at 91, has more energy than most teenagers. He’s been volunteering with the Christmas Hampers program for 23 years, and shows no signs of slowing down.
On another day, Willard Pfohl, another long-time volunteer, was joined by his family – his daughter, Heather, and his grandchildren Luke and Ben. Every year, Willard’s grandsons take some time off school to learn first hand what it is like to give in a tangible way. Willard is hoping other grandparents take the same step, encouraging our youngest generation to give of their time and energy.
And then there’s Doug Sullivan, a 20-year veteran, who helps run things behind the scenes. Everywhere you looked, Doug was at work – whether it was moving skids of food to their proper place, teaching volunteers how to bag oatmeal (complete with recipe), or taping up boxes to be used for this year’s hamper program.
Doug gets a great deal of enjoyment out of seeing the volunteers who show up every year, helping ensure that every Christmas in Kitchener-Waterloo is a good one.
“The dynamics of the job keeps me young,” Doug said. “The energy of the job, just helping people, is fantastic.”
Many hands make light work. We’ve seen this reality at work this week.
At this time of year, we can join our hands together to make a difference for those in our community, whether it is by sharing a meal with a lonely neighbour, shovelling the driveway for a single mom, or collecting mittens for children in need. We can make this a Christmas to remember.