Meet our volunteers

Ricardo, Luz and Maria Adelaida

My mom always talked to me about the importance of volunteer work, taking a moment of your time and devoting it to serving someone who needs it. It serves to help us step out of our privileged realities and see, every now and then, how a smile or a simple “good morning” can change a person’s day. While I have taken a break from weekly commitments a while ago, the visit to the South Granville Senior Centre was a warm reminder of the good anyone can do, the importance of a simple hug or of listening to a story.

Interacting with the seniors at the shelter has to be one of my highlights of this year, as I learned first-hand of stories worthy of being made into feature films. Luz, the lady I was fortunate to be paired with, was a woman ahead of her time. She was a militant in Chile who left her husband to flee to Argentina with her fellow militant (who she later married), and then subsequently to Canada and later to Vancouver. She has had to overcome so much in life and has a fire to her that you don’t see in many young people of today. Not only that, but the conversation with Luz (totally in Spanish) was a great exercise to develop and polish mine and my colleagues’ skills.

The people at the center are all filled with exciting and awe-inspiring stories. But all the same, they are people who miss the excitement of meeting new people and having conversations, telling their stories and feeling appreciated and seen. I can say without a shadow of a doubt I’ll be returning to the SGSC to have more chats with Luz and the others, and I hope that my testimony inspires you to do the same. Step out of the academic life and into the shoes of those who have done so much but are still so invisible. Give the ladies and gentlemen of the SGSC your attention and your ear, and they will gift you their life stories, their accomplishments, failures and wise advice. And these, I can assure you, are priceless.

Ricardo Zatz -Spanish 207 student

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