In some form or another I have been involved with North East Family Connections since my late teens. When Sue Holt took over as the Executive Director in 2004, I began volunteering with the agency. At the time it was called North of McKnight Community Resource Centre, and my first volunteer gig was during Christmas time; packing, sorting, and handing out Christmas food hampers at a nearby church. Since that time, I have volunteered doing odd bits and bobs. I have participated in casinos, worked the reception desk, sorted, and organized clothes, assisted with markets, and other various tasks.
Three years ago, I was hired to be the Volunteer Coordinator. Working out of the satellite office in Rundle, I maintained the volunteer database, and supported the agencies that worked out of that space. There was a bit of trial and error as we figured out what worked for us, since we are not the typical resource agency. Then in March of 2020 things changed again. After finding out we were losing our funding in November of the previous year, the global pandemic gave a brief respite. Many things in the agency changed, including my role in it. With no volunteers due to COVID-19, my focus turned to how I could best serve NEFCS. I took on the role of being the Social Media and Website Coordinator. There was again another learning curve, however the support I received from my co-workers helped steer me in the best direction for the agency.
Now here we are, 13 months into a global pandemic, and our little agency is still here (for now). I have seen what NEFCS can do, from the outside as a volunteer and from the inside as an employee. I have seen first hand how the community has benefited from the work that goes in the basement of the Falconridge/Castleridge Community Centre. The people who work there pour so much of themselves in their work, their clients, and the agency itself, that the people who come through our door know they are in a place where they can be open, safe, and they can get the help they need. We have the longevity and dependency of staff that many of our clients depend on. We are a staple in the commu