Volunteering and giving back to our community has been something that has been instilled in me at a very young age as it is very common to hear anyone in my family working on some activity to give back.
My grandmother growing up was a very active member in her community working in the food banks, making food and meals for those in her community, selling flowers for the Canadian Cancer Society, and canvasing for the Red Cross.
My father worked for Bell Canada for over 30 years, he was part or the BellAliant Pioneer Volunteers, and they are all about empowering children and those less fortunate. Every Christmas it was a given that my dad would be occupied for the week before Christmas collecting food and organizing food boxes for 10-15 families who would be equipped with groceries for 2 weeks over the holidays. I would always remember my mother emptying the pantry in our home and coming home with extra bags of groceries and it was assumed it was going to those who needed it.
I began my career 15 years ago with Bell as well and became heavily involved with the BellAliant Pioneer Volunteers as well and found it very rewarding and comforting that I was following in my loved ones footsteps in this natural progression to continue to give back.
I became a mom to my beautiful son in 2011 and wanted more then anything to be that type of role model for my son Ethan as my family has for me. I continued my role as Vice President of our volunteer organization within Bell up until about 2016 when company focus and dynamics changed and I was missing the opportunities to volunteer and give back.
I had co-workers and friends whom I saw on social media having a wonderful time being involved in our community doing great things in Greater Moncton. They always had smiles on their faces. They seemed to be everywhere doing the very things I wanted to involve myself in. The Greater Moncton Women’s Progress Club.
I began to look into this with friends Pauline Richard and Marie Law (Progressions in Greater Moncton). They welcomed me with opened arms and got me chatting with their membership committee straight away and before I knew it, I was a Progress Club meeting surrounded by like-minded women excited to plan tons of different events and community service!
When I walked in to the room, 25 + plus women greeted me smiling and excited that I was there. I was going through a lot of personal change in my life at the time and the welcoming faces who had a common goal like me to help our community made my heart sing! It felt like home and I just knew this was what I needed in my life.
My first volunteer opportunity was at the Moncton Headstart program with a program called “Coats for Kids”. I was greeted by a fellow progression Falon Cameron who wore her Progress Club jacket with pride, was so positive, friendly, and made me feel welcomed.
I cannot tell you how great it felt to help these eager and thankful men, women and children have a warm jacket to wear for winter. Especially these families new to Canada from Syria and Tunisia and all kinds of places that are usually warm.
The children were so beautiful and bright faced, excited to be in Canada and to be able to pick out their coat and matching mittens hat and scarf. The pride and uplifting manner in which they walked out equipped for their first winter in Canada was just a tremendously fulfilling experience.
By January I was inducted as a member of the Greater Moncton Women’s Progress Club. Woman after woman lined up to hug me for joining them into this sisterhood as they continue to empower women and children in our community.
Since then, I’ve served, cooked for the less fortunate, directed my fellow progressions for a Salvation Army Telethon, raised money for our 4 current charities of choice focusing on mental health and well being of women and children and have had the best and most instant sister hood family type support I could have never imagined every since.
It has been the most fulfilling and wonderful chance to develop my leadership skills, my organization skills, my public speaking skills, more networking in my community and feel at home with all these wonderful women and men across our country with a common goal.
I am very excited to be co-chairing our annual Girls Night Out event raising funds for our 4 chosen charities coming up at the end of April. I am comforted to know these opportunities to be a community leader will continue to be available to me in the future and consider myself lucky to be a part of such an amazing service club.
I am very proud of my choice to become a Progression.
Yours in Progress