It’s National Volunteer Week in Canada. A big thank you to our loyal volunteers who have been with us through thick and thin! We have faced many challenges before but nothing quite like this. Last month we changed all our volunteer jobs, warehouse layout, and scheduling, and you adapted. You do whatever you are asked and respond to changes with positivity and a can-do spirit. For those who have been with us for months or years, I thank you. Even if you have chosen to stay home until the worst is over, I thank you for your years of effort and the commitment you have shown, you are the backbone of this community.

A big thank you to our new volunteers! So far 189 individuals have filled out our emergency volunteer application many workplaces and offices have offered the available time of their employees to help the community. You dived in before you knew what you were getting into. You trusted us to keep you safe and to use your time wisely. You responded to an unplanned and scary situation with as much energy and optimism as you possibly could. You are up for anything as long as it helps, and for that, thank you.

Thanks also, to those we have asked to stay home. We have asked our youngest, older and chronically ill volunteers to stay home. It hurt to have those conversations with you but I thank you for your understanding. I would like our community to know that many of us who are vulnerable and suffering are still thinking of others during this time. For those of you who are not here in our building, I want you to know that your offers to help have meaning and are important, even if you have been asked to stay home. I thank you for that, and look forward to working with you in the future.

To all our supporters, past and present, please know that Winnipeg Harvest is what it is because of you. Harvest belongs to the community and your support in whatever form it takes, allows us to continue getting food out to people who need it every day. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are on the table because of you. Families are spending time together because of you. Neighbours and friends are getting another chance because of you. People are surviving because of you; thriving because of you.

For National Volunteer Week and every week. Thank you.

Meghan Pesclovitch, Volunteer Services Manager