Do you want to make a difference in the life of a newcomer? The Sault Community Career Centre is a recognized leader in the settlement and integration of newcomers and refugees to Sault Ste. Marie. Refugee families are settling successfully, thanks to our volunteers, partner organizations, and businesses. With additional families on the way, the Sault Community Career Centre is always looking for volunteers.
As a volunteer, your role will be to provide guidance to refugee families through their transition and to offer assistance with common everyday tasks. You might help collect household items like towels and blankets, provide transportation to places like the grocery store or the bank, assist them with travel to medical and dental appointments, visit with them, or accompany them to “welcome events” in the community. Through their involvement, volunteers help create a supportive community around newcomers that make them feel welcomed and connected. Here’s what some of our newcomers had to say about our volunteers:
“The volunteers made us feel welcome and hopeful for the future.”
“The volunteers have helped us in so many ways. They made us feel comfortable and safe in Canada.”
“The volunteers are good teachers. They taught us how to live in Canada.”
Being a volunteer can be challenging at times, but it’s also rewarding. We asked some of our volunteers what they would say to someone thinking about volunteering. Here’s what they said:
“I would tell them to just do it! This is a rewarding experience, plus you get to meet a lot of new people while doing it.”
“I would tell people that volunteering with a newcomer family can be a rewarding experience. You have to find the right match where you can use your strengths. Depending on your amount of involvement, you will likely end up as lifelong friends, and they can become part of your extended family. My experience has been great.”
“It does away with the distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us.’ We’ve benefitted from getting to know and understand what it feels like — things we’ve never been through. We’ve also developed quality friendships with people who we wouldn’t have thought we’d have a lot in common with — but you do — because we’re human. Just having coffee together, and talking. They crave conversation; and friends; someone who will listen and talk. They want to reciprocate that.”
If you are interested in volunteering with Sault Community Career Centre’s New to the Sault program, please contact Brenda Cooper, Volunteer Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705.542.9088. You can also fill out the Interested in Becoming a Volunteer? online form on our website: https://saultcareercentre.ca/newcomers/. Our next volunteer orientation session is scheduled for Thursday, October 24, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm at our offices at 503 Queen Street East.