Inspiring hope among her neighbours
Like many TELUS team members across the country, Melissa believes in giving where she lives and supporting her community. Two and a half years ago Melissa moved from Calgary into Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. Living in the city’s Downtown East Side she saw the effect of homelessness and poverty on many residents and knew she wanted to make a difference.
That’s when Melissa found the Salvation Army’s Belkin House – a residential program facility dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness – just seven minutes from her apartment. Not sure how she could help, Melissa was encouraged when staff and volunteers at Belkin House welcomed her with open arms and now she volunteers every Saturday, preparing and serving lunch to the residents of the facility.
“A lot of people are seeking opportunities to give back but don’t know where to look,” says Melissa. “I was the same. And then I realized it’s not scary. The key is to pick something you enjoy doing and that is in your neighbourhood – that way it’s sustainable for the long term.”
Every Saturday when she walks into Belkin House the people she works with put a smile on Melissa’s face. She’s learned that armed with the basic necessities people will make better decisions. Melissa is proud that her decision to give where she lives is contributing to setting residents of the Belkin House up for success, not failure.
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