Tucked away behind a large box of kale, Sheldon tries to keep up with the restocking of produce at Kiwassa’s low-cost produce market. Sheldon has been volunteering with Kiwassa Neighbourhood House for 2 years now helping out with several programs they offer. He spends the majority of his volunteer hours helping run the various food programs at Kiwassa which include the Saige Food Bank program, the low-cost produce market, and the senior’s lunches.
As Sheldon makes change for a woman buying a bag of peppers, he explains to us that he has been volunteering his time since he was 13 years old at his Church and Elementary School in Richmond. Executive Director of KNH, Mark Gifford, takes note of Sheldon’s impressive multitasking skills before patting him on the back to tell Sheldon to take a break and let himself step in. Sheldon smirks and slips away from the busy counter at the market. We chat and he gestures to the busy room of seniors purchasing their veggies and eating their lunch, “everybody here is just so friendly; the volunteers, the seniors, the staff, everybody.” This is no surprise as we can clearly see as Mark substitutes for Sheldon trying to replicate the volunteer’s speed and efficiency. The room buzzes with activity and organized chaos, but nonetheless, the feeling of support, care, and love is palpable here.
“My favourite part about volunteering at Kiwassa is meeting all of the people and seeing all of the regulars,” Sheldon explains. “Sometimes, I will just be out in the neighbourhood and a regular will say hi to me and remember my name. The people here are all very welcoming.”
Sheldon still incorporates time for himself into his busy schedule. When he is not distributing bunches of bok choy or helping serve bowls of soup at the senior’s lunches, Sheldon likes to frequent Pandora Park to relax in the sun (weather permitting!), hang out with friends, and play video games.
Interested in volunteering with Kiwassa Neighbourhood House?
Check here for more details: https://www.kiwassa.ca/get-involved/
Kiwassa Neighbourhood House is a grassroots, multi-service community agency that has been providing a broad range of free or low cost social services and programs to children, youth, adults, seniors and families in East Vancouver for 60 years. Kiwassa Neighborhood House has a team of staff and volunteers that reflect the broad diversity within our neighbourhood. The staff bring an eclectic range of education, professional training and experience to the work of Kiwassa, as well as passion, ideas and energy.