National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate, recognize and thank volunteers for all the work they do across Canada. This year, from April 18 - April 24th, we highlight the theme, ‘The Value of One, The Power of Many.’ We reflect on how each individual volunteer brings so much to the table and how working together can be an incredible tool to make a difference in our communities and world. To celebrate National Volunteer Week, I caught up with one of Mission Possible’s volunteers, Angela.
Angela is a Masters student at UBC studying medical genetics. She grew up in the Greater Vancouver area, and moved to the West End just over a year ago. She heard about Mission Possible through her sister, Rebecca, who volunteered for Power Breakfast through UBC’s Pharmacy program. She was drawn to MP because “it goes beyond a hot meal and focuses on building a more sustainable livelihood”. In doing so, it addresses the spectrum of people accessing services. She adds: “It’s not just people who are experiencing homelessness, and people who aren’t, there’s also people who are transitioning between those phases and need additional support.”
Having started volunteering in September 2020, Angela summarizes Power Breakfast as “the community coming together to help the community.” Her favourite part about the weekly meal service is seeing the same people, both from the community and volunteers, week after week. The consistency allows her to build relationships and connect with others. While she loves working inside preparing the meals, she especially enjoys being outside as it allows her to interact with the community. It also gives her a chance to witness the community aspect of Power Breakfast despite it being a take out service right now.
For Angela, the little moments of community care is what stands out to make Power Breakfast an incredible experience. She recalls handing out pastries one morning:
“I was walking down the line to hand scones out to people who were waiting, and someone grabbed one, and kinda felt it and they were like ‘Oh! It’s warm!’ and I was like ‘Yeah we put them in the oven for you.’ And he’s like ‘That’s so nice!’ It’s just a little extra thing that we did in the kitchen that I didn’t think twice about, and it made such a big difference to have a warmed up pastry that is soft instead of just out of the bag. Those little things I think make such a big difference and for them, it’s such a thoughtful thing that we’ve taken that extra tiny step.”
She also remembers how the Power Breakfast staff, like Brody, the kitchen assistant, go above and beyond by adding extra seasoning and lemon juice to the tuna mix she was using to make sandwiches. Going that extra mile to make food taste better goes such a long way, and she’s proud to be part of a team that really cares.
Angela is constantly impressed by how smooth and efficient Power Breakfast runs every week, and she’s looking forward to the day when it can return to being a sit down service! When asked for her final thoughts, Angela shared:
“I really think MP does great work, and it’s even nice to see people who come through the program help out at Power Breakfast. [MP] is helping people in so many different ways whether it’s giving them a job or food. It’s just very multifaceted in the way it helps people and I just think that MP is so great at that in general and it’s just a pleasure to be involved.”
It warms our hearts to hear from our volunteers like Angela, and stories like this truly reveal how big of an impact volunteering has not only on the wider community, but also on the individual volunteers. We’re so grateful to have the support of so many people whether it’s through Power Breakfast, our Board and committees, special events or administrative tasks. The time, dedication and hard work that our volunteers give are immensely appreciated, and crucial for us to support people moving into the workforce. To all our past and current volunteers, THANK YOU! We can’t wait to see what we accomplish together next!
If you would be interested in volunteering at or sponsoring our Power Breakfasts, please sign up and get more details here or email Tara at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, if you would like to help cover the costs of one Power Breakfast with a donation of $795, please get in touch with Jasmine at email@example.com. You can also make a donation of any amount directly to Power Breakfast here.