Our Fergus ReStore team would like to introduce you to one of our volunteers, Margaret!
Let’s get to know Margaret!
What made you first want to volunteer here? I had been volunteering for most of my adult life in one way or another. Since retiring a few years ago, volunteering is even more important to me as a way to engage in my community and keep busy. I had been at the local Food Bank for a while during the pandemic, but a hernia prevented me from continuing. Thinking about my options while waiting for surgery, I decided the ReStore might be a perfect fit because of my skills and experience as an electrician. Also, some years ago I participated as a volunteer in a Women Build with Habitat for Humanity and became very impressed with the work that Habitat does here and internationally.
Where else have you volunteered? Over the last 20 years of my work life, I volunteered to be part of a team of women who did speaking engagements in schools aimed at convincing girls to consider a career in skilled trades. We provided pre-apprenticeship training for women to get into apprenticeship programs. We also provided skills training to new Canadians. I also volunteered with other skilled trades from my union to repair a water system in a First Nation community in the Yukon.
What is your favorite part about volunteering at the ReStore? I really enjoy the camaraderie with all the volunteers! It is a real pleasure to get to know everyone and to work co-operatively together. I also really enjoy keeping up with my skills and putting them to good use!
What would you tell others that are thinking of becoming a volunteer? I would tell them about the central role of the ReStore in the success of Habitat’s efforts to build homes for families in the community where the ReStore is located, especially now as the housing crisis in Canada worsens…. And that this is true of Habitat’s work all over the world, including, for instance (and this issue is so important to me), in Europe this year where Habitat is helping to provide housing to resettle Ukrainian refugees. So, volunteering with Habitat brings a lot of satisfaction in seeing real housing solutions meeting real needs.
What do you like to do in your spare time? The biggest use of my time these days is my big vegetable garden that I tend with my husband. I also love to get lots of good exercise, which our two young dogs make very possible! Their names are Belle-Aire, and Beau Jo. They both came to us through a dog rescue program in Manitoba in 2020. And I love to read.
What’s a hidden talent that you have that the people at the ReStore may not know about? Perhaps the hidden talent would be that I am fluently bilingual, English and French. I don’t get that much opportunity to use my French at the ReStore in Fergus, but if ever there is a need….!
Where did you learn to speak French? I have family in Quebec. I grew up going to Quebec every year for summer vacation. I also studied French in University, and lived and worked in Quebec for many years.
THANK YOU to Margaret for your commitment to the ReStore and your support of Habitat for Humanity!
-From the Staff and Volunteer Team at Habitat for Humanity Guelph Wellington and the Habitat ReStore
*To learn more about volunteering at our ReStores in Guelph and Fergus, you can find more info at habitatgw.ca/volunteer.