16 Year Salvation Army Volunteer Says He Won’t Stop Helping His Community

by blairmalaz
Categories: Blog, Newswire, Prairie News

Not only does Salvation Army volunteer Boris Kolisnyk have a big baritone voice…he also has a big generous heart.

Boris decided to become a volunteer in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 16 years ago after participating in The Salvation Army Golf Tournament. At the event, he was invited to take a tour of The Salvation Army Winnipeg Centre of Hope (then Winnipeg Booth Centre) and The Salvation Army Weetamah in the following weeks. During the tour, he was impressed by the programs and the people.

Long-time volunteer Boris Kolisnyk speaks at Hope In The City Breakfast.

“After meeting so many great people and getting an understanding of what The Salvation Army was all about. I wanted to help out in some small way. The caring and unselfish people I met, whether they were officers, cadets, employees or volunteers made me want to be a part of this great organization,” said Boris.

In the over 16 years of volunteering, Boris has worn many hats. He has been a member of the Public Relations and Fundraising committee, Hope in the City Breakfast committee, and The Salvation Army Golf Tournament committee. Not only does he play a big part in the planning of these events, but Boris is also always on hand, ready, willing and able to do whatever it takes to help. Unloading trucks, setting up tables and chairs, transporting items are all things Boris takes in stride.

Boris posing in the THANK YOU photo for 2019 Toy Mountain.

These skills are all needed when it comes to Boris’s favourite event, Toy Mountain. He calls it his “pride and joy.” Boris has worked as a volunteer coordinator, toy centre shopping assistant, and collector of donated toys from Scotiabank and Firehall locations for this event alone.

He also worked on the sponsorship development, client registration, and set up of the Toy Centre at Weetamah. Boris’s family also inspires others to comes out to help.

“My wife Lee’ Anne has been volunteering at Toy Mountain for 13 years , whether at The Forks, St Vital Centre or Polo Park, she has always been on hand to greet the great people of Winnipeg and accept toys and donations. She has also volunteered at the Toy Centre (Weetamah) for client registration, hosting families for toy shopping as well as setting up and organizing the toy centre. My sons also assist when possible and always donate to Toy Mountain. Many of our friends have also volunteered for Toy Mountain,” Boris says, with pride.

Boris and his wife, Lee’Anne posing with Santa at Toy Mountain Event

One of Boris’s favourite moments of Toy Mountain is talking to the children who bring toys to donate to families in need. These children are either donating toys they were giving for their birthdays or used their own money to buy them and give away.

“I always talk to the children and commend them for being so generous. I also compliment the parents for teaching their children to share and not to be selfish. These are the best conversations I could ever have,” says Boris.

For Boris, volunteering is a great way of giving back to a community and province that has been good to him and his loved ones. After over two decades of volunteering, Boris knows he doesn’t regret giving his time to help The Salvation Army.

“They don’t just give a hand OUT…..they give a hand UP. Meeting people that The Salvation Army has helped and hearing their stories of how they were helped up is truly heartwarming. Seeing these same people giving back and helping others is absolutely the best,” Boris says.

Boris takes a quick selfie with a child donating a toy to Toy Mountain.

The Salvation Army knows it takes an army to carry on the amount of work accomplished day in and day out in the many countries we serve. We know our volunteers are essential to ensuring this work comes to fruition.

“The Salvation Army Prairie Division is thankful for Boris Kolisnyk and every volunteer helping us to share a message of hope while making a real difference in our communities,” says Major Jamie Rands, Divisional Secretary Public Relations.

Boris grabs a quick second to get his photo taken with Santa.

With a person who has already done so much, you may be thinking, “What is next for Boris?”
“I have recently been asked to chair The Salvation Army Winnipeg Advisory Board and I look forward to that challenge,” says Boris.
Are you ready to become a volunteer like Boris and get involved? Fill out the application, and we will contact you with the next steps to volunteer in your area.