In It for the Long Haul

July 5 2021

Volunteers are one of Centre Flavie-Laurent’s most critical resources. Without them the organization wouldn’t be able to operate as efficiently as it does. Seven full-time positions are currently filled by volunteers. If these were paid employees, Centre Flavie-Laurent wouldn’t be able to afford them. That just goes to show how, on a fiscal-level alone, the centre depends on volunteers. Fortunately, Centre Flavie-Laurent attracts a great number of them. Some even end up dedicating many years to the centre.

Denise Dupuis has volunteered since 2008. For over forty hours a week, Denise oversees Centre Flavie-Laurent’s group of volunteers. She assigns them to sections that need to be tended to such as the linen, the dishes, the books, and the music section. “Centre Flavie-Laurent gives me a purpose and a second family,” says Denise.

David Taillefer has volunteered since 2013. He, too, dedicates over 40 hours a week. When it’s time to drive the truck to Altona, Lorette, St-Pierre-Jolys and other places out of Winnipeg to pickup donations, David is in the driver’s seat. “We’re very fortunate to be doing what we’re doing because everything we do is for the good of the community,” says David.

Marcel Lambert volunteers for 15 to 20 hours per week. Since 2013, he has been fixing broken items donated to Centre Flavie-Laurent such as tables and dressers. “It’s very pleasing to see people light up with joy when you give them something they’re in desperate need of,” says Marcel.

Albert Ruest started volunteering around 2009 and puts in 30 to 35 hours a week. He uses his 40 years of experience working with metal to sort the broken brass, copper, aluminum, and stainless steel donated to Centre Flavie-Laurent. Albert then sells the metals to a metal recycling facility and brings the money back to Centre Flavie-Laurent. “The centre is important to volunteers, to the people we help, to the community—and I guess it’s important to me too, or I wouldn’t be here,” says Albert with a chuckle. “It’s my second home.”

It’s not every organization that is fortunate enough to have people show up and volunteer day after day and year after year. Centre Flavie-Laurent knows that it is blessed. “Our volunteers are exemplars of our founders, especially that of Saint Marguerite d’Youville,” says Gilbert Vielfaure, Executive Director at Centre Flavie-Laurent. “They express God’s love to people who need it and in doing so they acknowledge the dignity of the people we serve, and when you get right down to it, what is life for?”

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