Brock employees rolled up their sleeves to sort food, paint furniture and spread a little kindness in Niagara this week.
As part of National Volunteer Week, more than 20 faculty and staff members donated their time to the Niagara Furniture Bank and Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold on Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19.
In addition to sorting food at Community Care, time was spent at the Furniture Bank sprucing up dressers, chairs and other items with a fresh coat of paint, and sorting through housewares and linens — all to be donated to local low-income families.
Nancy Sutton, the Furniture Bank’s Executive Director, said the extra help was greatly appreciated, especially as need for services continues to rise.
“We’re a pretty bare-bones organization, so the more volunteers we can get, the more deliveries we can make for our clients,” she said. “There have been a lot of connections between Brock and our organization. I know that if I’m ever in need, I can pick up the phone and call someone at Brock. They are always so helpful.”
This is the fourth year that Brock has participated in National Volunteer Week.
Holly Bolvari, Training and Organizational Development Specialist in Brock’s Human Resources department, said the initiative is another example of the University’s commitment to the local community.
“I’m proud to be part of an organization that values volunteering and community engagement,” she said. “The partnership Brock University has with the Niagara community has always been strong. Supporting Brock staff and faculty to take time out of their busy work day to give back to the community in support of National Volunteer Week, speaks to that partnership.”
Kristen Smith, Manager of Student and Community Outreach in Student Life and Community Experience, helps co-ordinate the connections between Brock and its community partners.
She also lent a helping hand with one of the groups on Wednesday morning.
“It’s an important opportunity for Brock staff and faculty to be connected to our community in a very hands-on way,” she explained. “They see the work that’s being done in our region by our community partners and gain a better understanding of the needs in Niagara. Hopefully it inspires people to continue to be involved and volunteer.”
She added that while National Volunteer Week may be wrapping up, there are always opportunities available for those who want to give back to both the local and broader community.
“While much of our programming is student-focused, faculty and staff are always welcome to participate,” said Smith.
More information on volunteer opportunities are available on ExperienceBU.