Volunteer Spotlight – Pauline ZeijlstraPosted August 8, 2019 by Sarah Dermer
If you have been to our Chalmers West location, you have probably met Pauline, as she has been volunteering in the portable at 577 Willow Road for over 10 years. We’re not sure what time she arrives on a Thursday morning, but it’s probably dark and you were probably still sleeping. She portions skim milk powder and rice and she’s cleaning behind the freezers and ensuring the fridges are operating at the right temperature before anyone has walked through the doors. When Pauline is away, several volunteers are needed to try to do the work that Pauline does during the week and that’s not an exaggeration.
Pauline cares deeply for the guests who use our services and advocates for them on a regular basis at her church and in the community. She is outspoken, unafraid to ask a question, make a suggestion or express her views about what needs improvement, which is all very much appreciated in a small organization like CCSC. Her terrific sense of humour helps to create a welcoming and friendly atmosphere every Thursday for all who walk through the doors.
Pauline also cares deeply for her fellow volunteers and pays close attention to the details of their lives. Without fail, she has a birthday card ready for every single volunteer’s birthday, frequently accompanied by a cupcake and a song. When volunteers are struggling with health concerns, Pauline makes a phone call or a visit and has a card going for all volunteers to sign. She remembers when volunteers might be observing important dates in their lives, both happy and sad, and finds ways to honour those anniversaries in meaningful and communal ways. Pauline would never brag about any of this, but she is a real connector and community builder, ensuring the Chalmers West portable is a place where everyone feels supported.
CCSC volunteers are doing much more than providing food to those in the community. They are advocating, connecting and building community space for all. Thank you, Pauline, for all that you do for us here at Chalmers Community Services Centre.
Interested in joining our volunteer team? E-mail Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.