Humans of Wayside: Ross

Volunteer, Dishwasher

Talking about Bridgeport Café “I had some premonitions about the program initially and it’s always a difficult thing to bring your head around people who are not the same as you, who who haven’t tried as hard as you have tried in your mind. You think that way and so therefore you have to do a thinking process and go through and see what it is. I came around a few times and observed. You start talking to some of the people who are in the program… the clients and get their stories. You find out that a lot of them have had very difficult things in their lives. Sometimes we have to move back from that and say we’ve had difficult times too, but not quite to the extent that they have had. They’ve never been able to, one way or another through a number of circumstances that have befallen them been able to come out of that. Out of those difficulties. They’re still with it and probably will be for their whole lives. I’ve come to the conclusion there is a certain element of our society that does need our help. They don’t have the good fortune that a lot of us have in having a job or having physical health or mental health, those kinds of things we are fortunate enough to have with us.

I’ve been volunteering for many years in different things. One time about ten, fifteen years ago I was with probably with ten different organizations at one time. Everything from Habitat to older adult centres of Ontario, a lot of organizations. I enjoy volunteering. It’s putting my time to good use. It’s doing something for others that haven’t had the opportunities that I have. I sort of turned around on the thing, Bridgeport Café, and said here’s a way of helping out a little bit and doing some things. I think it’s been very successful it’s a good program. It’s been well thought out. It does a job. When you talk to the people coming to the café they are very grateful.

One thing I do think about though is we should somehow step back occasionally and look at the thing, how successful it is. How in some areas, maybe not as successful as it could be. Today, maybe an unusual situation, there was an awful lot of food on plates that wasn’t eaten. That kind of thing we have to step back and say maybe we’re not doing as much as we should. Maybe we’re giving too much food. I think we have to do an appraisal now and then of the program. See how good it is, see what areas could be fixed a little bit. I think the program is doing well, certainly a lot of the people who have been instrumental in doing the work on it, like David and like Karen…have done a great job and it’s very much appreciated. You should be commended for what you are doing. I think it’s a good program. I am quite impressed with it.”

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