Meet our Red Leaf volunteers
This summer we have had the pleasure of hosting several Red Leaf volunteers. Red Leaf Canada helps people (especially students) internationally to find volunteer placements in their areas of interest.
This is Saki, from Japan; she is one of the Red Leaf volunteers that have worked with us this summer. She is always smiling and has been so helpful. She expressed a deep concern for her community and hoped that lessons learned volunteering at WIN could help her when she returns to her volunteer position at home. She was drawn to volunteering when a big earthquake hit Iwate, Japan in 2011. She joined the earthquake relief effort then and continues to seek ways to help the people who were deeply impacted by the quake. She helps sort clothing for earthquake victims and was impressed, while working at WIN, to see how many community members donate to us. She will go home with some ideas on how to inspire the same sort of giving amongst her community members. She loves Victoria because it is so beautiful and the people are so friendly.
I also had a great time speaking with Elise who was visiting from France and dedicated 4 weeks of her vacation to a volunteer position at WIN. Her commitment to work 5 days a week really helped us during our busy summer months. Although it seems that most Red Leaf volunteers are students, Elise is not. She is a junior high school English teacher with an interest in thrift stores and helping people. This was Elise’s fifth time coming to Victoria because she loves the city’s “unique spirit” and has made lasting friendships during her visits here. She previously volunteered at Glendale Gardens but wanted to try something related to social work during this trip because of her growing desire to contribute to social work in her retirement. She talked with me about the fact that France has very few thrift stores and that she might like to open one there in the future. She was most intrigued by learning about how our donation centres work. We had a lovely chat on a cozy couch at WIN and her passion to contribute to her community really came through during our conversation.
It has been a busy summer and we have loved having volunteers from France, Japan, Korea, China, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica and, of course, Canada!