Andrea’s Journey to Furniture Bank

Necessity is indeed the mother of invention… As it was a necessity that has brought me to where I am today.

This is my journey…

I have over 20 years working and volunteer in the nonprofit sector, my most recent position being a family support worker with the Jane Finch Community and Family Centre. In this role I worked with families, children and youth within the catchment area of the organization. I have provided support and brief counselling for families as well as providing assistance with the navigation of systems that affect them on all level. I have created and implemented many programs both for youth and families on a whole. this includes making appropriate referrals, and attending team and social meetings with or on their behalf.

I have also coordinated volunteers and students that have been place within our programs. I provided parent, volunteer and community based workshops on a variety of different topics.  My back ground as an ECE profession lead me to do most of what was stated above.

Due to funding cuts my position with the organization was terminated. It was then I decided to go back to school to work on some accreditation for social work.

I decided to do the Community Service Worker Program at the Canadian Business College. This program was very engaging and filled in a few gaps that had existed in my mind in terms of providing service.

While there, I was placed at Furniture Bank to fulfill my placement requirements of 100 hours. Those hours went by so very quickly, and provided me with and alternative venue/channel to implement my social work skills. I found the clients (furniture recipients) to be very engaging and willing to share their stories of how they came to be here at Furniture Bank. I was able to quickly adapt all my transferable skills to effectively work with them.

Once my placement was over I still felt that there was a need to be there and so I continued to volunteer with the organization. The skills that I have learned here are truly invaluable and unique to say the least.

After a couple months of volunteering and braving the elements to get here each morning, I was offered a position within the organization. Being apart of this team has really been life changing and I enjoy what I do. Being around the people here both staff and clients is amazing, I’m learning each day something new and adding to my back pack of experiences.

This whole experience has been amazing and very humbling. I get up each day with purpose ready and willing to take on the highlights and challenges that my day has in store for me.

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