Discovering the Importance of Volunteering

Payton helping The Salvation Army’s community and family services in Montreal.
by larisa
Categories: Uncategorized

    The COVID-19 pandemic brought many life adjustments for 11-year-old Payton and his family. As he looks back, none of the changes were more impactful for him than the cancellation of organized hockey and the decision to be homeschooled for the 2020-2021 school year.

    The loss of activity and time with friends was challenging as Payton was used to being out all day and many nights during the week with planned activities. Due to the pandemic, he was “stuck” at home, spending his days around the dining room table with his younger siblings learning under the expert teaching of their mother.

    Payton’s evenings were not spent at the arena or the football field but around the house with a tablet, watching TV, shooting NERF guns or out for short walks in the neighbourhood. There wasn’t a lot to do for young people.

    Then he was given a chance to get out of the house to give back to his community through volunteering at The Salvation Army’s community and family services in Montreal. Every Tuesday, he stowed his schoolbooks and lunch in his backpack and headed out the door, just like he did before the pandemic.

    Instead of going to school, Payton went to the food bank to help unload the weekly food deliveries. At first, these days would give him a break from being at home and away from his younger siblings. Volunteering turned into something so much more meaningful, and life-changing as Payton came to understand the impact volunteers like him have in the community.

    “I didn’t know there were so many people where I live who needed help getting something to eat, and the food bank makes that possible“

    “It’s not just unloading a truck. I get the chance every week to help people who are in need,” explains Payton. Volunteering has positively impacted his community during this difficult time.“

    The Salvation Army’s community and family services in Montreal provide help and support to over 150 people every week.

    By Captain Justin Gleadal