Tracey has found her volunteer experience fulfilling

For almost 4 years, Tracey Darling has volunteered in support of food access with Chalmers Community Services Centre (CCSC) Friday pantry. 

Chalmers Community Services Centre offers food, clothing, diapers, bedding, sundry household items and mending to vulnerable people experiencing insecurities in our community. CCSC collaborates with other organizations to work on the larger issue of poverty that leads people to need services.

Individuals in need are welcomed to visit the pantry every other week and are able to access a multitude of options from the Grocery Basket

In order to operate this vital program, volunteers are essential. 

“In the last year, during this pandemic, Tracey has been faithfully arriving every Friday at 9:00 am to help set up the pantry, portion eggs and pasta and then provide food to every guest who walks through our door until she leaves at noon,” shares Sarah Dermer, Program & Volunteer Coordinator, CCSC.

“Normally” Sarah continues, “Friday mornings are bustling with volunteers doing the work to prepare to open for our guests. However, since March 2020, that work has been done by only a few volunteers at a time, to ensure safety for all.” 

“As a result, Sarah notes, “Tracey has been doing the work of 4 or 5 people every week. She knows our guests by names, chats with them through masks and face shields and does it all while keeping track of diapers and hygiene items and how many family members each guest has. Last week, Tracey wasn’t feeling well, and her volunteer partners started to panic: “Tracey’s not here!?” Without Tracey’s dedication to volunteering on Friday mornings during this pandemic, our ability to serve the community in a dignified and respectful way would have been diminished, for certain.”

COVID has had an impact on volunteerism in our community however the need remains. As a volunteer, Tracey is helping Chalmers provide vital resources to the community but Tracey is also providing a community connection, a friendly face and an understanding, empathic human to human interaction. 

Tracey began volunteering with CCSC through family. “My mother was volunteering” says Tracey when asked how she became involved. Tracey’s mom, Leona has been CCSC’s Registration Volunteer for many years. 

Tracey has found her volunteer experience fulfilling and shares that her “memorable moments are the thank yous.”

Thank you, Tracey. Your commitment to volunteering is a beacon of hope. Your volunteer efforts are a shining example of how our community can support each other, even during a crisis. 

For more information on Chalmers Community Services Centre and to volunteer, please visit chalmerscentre.ca