Meg Bernard – We All Need A Place Where Hope Finds Help

Every day at Bissell Centre, we are grateful for the inspiring support we receive from volunteers. Meg Bernard became acquainted with Bissell Centre while volunteering for the Grade 9 Leadership Class at Riverbend Junior High – with whom we have formed a long standing and successful partnership.

What makes Meg’s story so compelling is the dedication that she shows to her family and her community.   She creates the space to volunteer despite the time demands of a young family affected by autism, spinal complications, tourette’s, OCD and herself – Parkinson’s disease.   It is her drive and enthusiasm for a better future that motivates her to volunteer.

“When I see ‘Where Hope Finds Help’ it brings to mind the difficult times in my life when I have been clinging to hope and needed the help of others to come out on the other side.   I have lived a comfortable life, but there are many times when I have needed help, kindness, forgiveness, love, and someone to lean on.   When I look at the participants at Bissell Centre, I can see myself in them.   We all need a place where our hope finds help.

I believe in Bissell Centre’s mission to ‘empower people to move from poverty to prosperity’.   If I can use the gifts and talents that I have been blessed with to help empower the participants of Bissell Centre then I feel that I have made a worthwhile contribution to the community and have made a genuine difference in the world.”

Meg has made a remarkable difference in her community.   In addition to her work with Riverbend Junior High, she provides entertainment at Bissell Centre events and plays a key role in the fundraising efforts for our upcoming Bissellebration Gala on May 5.

“I have been blessed with a great life and God gave me gifts and talents that I can use to help others.  My goal is to use these gifts to help others find the same joy, safety, security and happiness that I am fortunate enough to have.  I am grateful to have a place like Bissell Centre to help me on my journey to achieve these goals.  I look forward to a long relationship with Bissell Centre.”

Spotlight: Fraser Williamson

Fraser Williamson began volunteering with Bissell Centre just over two years ago. During this time, he has shared more than 800 hours of his life with our staff and community. Fraser first started volunteering in Drop-In as he settled into retirement. When the new housing program – Homeless to Homes (H2H) – was created a year ago Fraser transferred his volunteerism to this area.

Fraser’s work with H2H is hands-on and incredibly beneficial. He has created manuals and brochures for the H2H participants to capture information that used to be communicated verbally. He created Voter Information Packages for our participants during the last civic election. He brings a lot of value to the team, going above and beyond all the staffs’ expectations.

One of the H2H staff comments, “He is a good and wonderful person. He is kind and demonstrates a lot of empathy to the participants, always smiling and so humble. He’s definitely a keeper.” And another remarks, “Fraser is a great guy, he has made my life 100 times easier. We embrace him as a member of our team and we are really happy to have him.”

Many thanks to Fraser and all of our volunteers for truly making a difference!

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