Sarah Swanson is a Purchasing Manager at DP World, one of Vancouver’s largest container companies. DP World is also one of Mission Possible’s most dedicated and generous supporters and, as a DP World employee, Sarah perfectly exemplifies that dedication and generosity.
Sarah’s involvement with Mission Possible began when she volunteered at a Saturday morning Mission Possible Power Breakfast. It was interesting and inspiring for her to meet the people who came for breakfast and coffee, an experience shared by many of her DP World colleagues. She still volunteers at the Power Breakfast but has expanded her involvement, volunteering for more than two years as a workshop facilitator and now also serving on the Mission Possible Gala Committee.
For Sarah, volunteering at Mission Possible has been a transformative experience. “It makes a huge shift to get to know people from the neighbourhood,” explains Sarah. As a result of volunteering, Sarah has a better understanding of the challenges those in the Downtown Eastside face. While it can be difficult to hear the traumatic circumstances many of the participants have gone through, Sarah is encouraged to see them persevering, and trying to seize an opportunity. “The people are wonderful,” Sarah says, “and a lot of them go onto success in the program. Being a part of
that is a really special thing.”
It can be intense serving as one of the facilitators for the Mission Possible Employment Readiness
Workshop, but Sarah never leaves without having learned something from the participants. “There’s
always a takeaway,” she declares, “Every single time.” Sarah’s goal is to make the workshop useful and rewarding in terms of each participant’s pursuit of paid employment.
At DP World, Sarah serves on the Sustainability Committee, whose mandate is to encourage DP
World employees to volunteer in the community. As a company, they make sure their employees take their individual professional skills out into the community through volunteer roles. According to Sarah, DP World takes a lot of pride in being involved in the community in which they work. Community involvement is one of the several values of DP World, and in this, Sarah believes that they are walking the talk.
From Sarah’s perspective, DP World enjoys a great working relationship with Mission Possible because of the energetic, caring group of people on staff. They demonstrate a commitment to participants in MP programs and the others in the neighbourhood. “It’s a very ‘from the heart’ type of operation, and that resonates with the employees at DP World,” Sarah explains. “It’s friendly and it’s inviting and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.”