If I work my face off and really over-perform. I can do 50, maybe 60, maybe even 70 hours of work this week. But I can't do more, and I can't keep that pace up. It's unsustainable. If my colleague Bob who works with me puts in overtime and gives us 50 hours, maybe 55 or even 60 hours this week, we can get a lot done. But he has family, and friends, and a personal life...it's unsustainable to keep that up. After that, we are hooped. We can't hire any more folk to do more work because we don't have the financial resources to do more than we do. Hmmmm.
But then, I meet people who want to help. Not for money but for the enjoyment of helping others make progress. They want to show up for a couple of hours and do something contributive. There is "B", who shows up to clean out cluttered cupboards, there is "M" who hauls things to the trash, there is "B" who wants to set up an office and make it efficient, there is "C" who likes to paint. There is "R" who helps to haul furniture (heavy furniture!), there is "R" who just organizes things because it's her gift. There is "T" who likes to plant things. There is "W" who likes to wash things. The list goes on and on. Each one puts in a couple of hours (or more) and at the end of the week, there is the equivalent of a full time worker on site doing multiple tasks.
This past Saturday, 15 young people from the Vancouver Japanese Gospel Church arrived on site at 10 a.m. for a "volunteer work day". Together they vacuumed, washed windows, cleaned toilets, hauled trash, weeded flower beds, trimmed bushes, raked soil, cut out roots, hosed down the sidewalks, cleaned up after themselves, and left with a huge smile and sense of satisfaction in their hearts. Accumulated total? I calculate that we received 75 hours of helpful work on Saturday. Amazing.
So, I come back to the title. Volunteers are the life blood of our organization. People willingly, joyfully, hopefully and meaningfully engage to help and interestingly, find joy and hope and meaning for their contributions. Thanks God!
If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with New Hope, check out our Take Action page, call us at 778-394-1191, or email us at
New Hope Community Services Society
13478 Hilton Road
Surrey, BC V3R 5J4