Volunteer’s Stories

Pasta or couscous for supper?

A volunteer with apartment 2, Jody Ceccarelli was first hooked by a presentation about Our Harbour by Founder and President Catherine Gillbert and resident Teresa at Greenfield Park United Church one Sunday last October.  As she listened to them speak she realized she could perhaps be of help to this organization.

Jody had worked in a Montreal hospital for over 35 years as a medical imaging technologist; the last 15 years were spent as technical coordinator of the Cedars Breast Clinic. However, despite her medical administrative background, she was not interested in that side of Our Harbour.  She felt she could relate to the hands-on daily living of the residents.  Her hunch proved true.

In the past year, she has spent many hours cooking with the girls in their apartment and occasionally in her own home. ”Sometimes we cook Moroccan recipes so I am learning a lot,” she says. ”and having fun. The girls are so appreciative and so understanding. If ever I cannot go to see them for any reason, they tell me not to worry and to come when I can.” She feels totally at ease in the apartment, able to be herself. “We are just a bunch of girls doing stuff together and enjoying it,” she adds.

“We are just a bunch of girls doing stuff together and enjoying it”

Not only do she and her family savour the different dishes that she has learnt to make but they share what they have made with people in the other apartments. The community spirit is strong, as Jody has witnessed herself when she accompanies the group on an outing. ”Volunteering,” she admits, ”is a two-way road: both parties reap the benefits.”

”Volunteering is a two-way road: both parties reap the benefits.”

                                                                                                                Lesley Régnier