I'm Andy, aka "Handy Andy," at MHO's Furniture Bank. My volunteering started at the beginning of June after seeing a flyer at the Mklack Community Centre in Kanata. I'd wanted to start giving back to the community and the Furniture Bank was conveniently located and great opportunity; admittedly I didn't know the extent to which it was needed! I was and still am in an uncomfortable awe at what we do and for whom.
Starting as a furniture mover/showroom set up assistant I quickly gained David’s confidence and respect and began working on our truck delivering goods to our clients and collecting donations. Now, I'm kind of a do-it-all for David; helping clients, quick repairs, directing/helping volunteers, taking responsibility for many aspects of MHO:FB’s smaller logistics. The experience has been very rewarding; seeing the appreciation of whole families, talking with children and their giddy silly smiles filled with happiness.
As an alcoholic in early sobriety, volunteering has been one of the single most important aspects of my new "recovery plan" - recently celebrating 3 months continued sobriety. It has reminded me of my personable nature and natural capabilities and put my education and life experience to use without expectation of return. I'm relearning self-respect, responsibility, respect, vigilance, self-control, vision, commitment, routine, motivation and focus, that my opinion does matter.
I'm looking forward to continuing to volunteer when I eventually move back into the workforce and have highly considered getting into a not-for-profit type career. Thank you, David and Matthew House Ottawa, for all you've allowed me to give and receive.