Most of us volunteer on a daily basis. We hold doors open, put out the neighbour’s trash, deliver soup to a sick friend, babysit a rooster or pick up a pound of butter. It’s a natural instinct to help, that comes from feeling that we are part of a community. It’s one more way to Show We Care.


Some people go beyond the norm and add an extra portion of volunteering into regular scheduled times during their week. They devote time and energy to a cause they believe in, and they get things done.

I’m lucky enough to be one of those who is able to devote hours to the Thrift Shops for Nova West Island. We are over 200 such men and women who receive and pick up donations from a generous public, prepare the items for the shelves and racks, greet the public and manage the sales. We do this in one or more of the five thrift shops in Montreal’s West Island.

Our efforts raise funds for the West Island Volunteer Health Support Foundation, which in turn, supports VON-NOVA West Island, our charitable healthcare organization. Indeed, through our collective “blood, sweat and tears” we raise and donate half a million dollars a year to this cause. Not too shabby, eh?

The bonus for us: because of the people we meet, our lives are richer by far.

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