Meet Caroline, Furniture Bank’s latest volunteer. She’s from Brazil and brings with her a deep understanding and compassion for the trials and tribulations that newcomers to Canada face.

Here’s her story:

My name is Caroline and I’m in the first year of a Global Business Management college program. After years working in a bank institution in Brazil, I immigrated to Canada, seeking a better quality of life. While I was working in Brazil, I had many opportunities to collect donations for people in need (mainly children) and it was very fulfilling.

At the beginning of the year, just two weeks after my arrival, I heard about Furniture Bank at a Job Fair. I was not able to commit with any particular volunteering opportunity at the time. So, I got Furniture Bank’s contact and put it aside. Two months later, I felt that the moment had come. I made contact and in one week, I was there to be trained and ready to donate my time to people in need.

It is an exciting activity to work at the Furniture Bank. Each day is different. Each day provides you with a new experience. I once helped this girl who had just come to Toronto to go to college. She was very shy and needed a lot of help to figure out what she really wanted. At the end of her appointment she was so grateful that she couldn’t contain herself and just gave me a big hug. It was a very emotional moment that I’ll never forget.

It’s true that we get to network, to gain Canadian work experience, and to develop new skills. But it is even more than that. It’s about making a difference in another person’s life. It’s about treating people with kindness and respect. I’m certainly grateful to so many people who helped me throughout my life that I feel I must pass it forward.

Actually, one of these “angels” once told me: “Don’t give me anything in return, just pass it forward.” So, here I’m donating the most important thing I have,my time.