Celebrating Volunteers: National Volunteer Week

This week we are stopping to take time and reflect on the impact volunteers have on ESS as an agency and on our greater community.

In honour of National Volunteer Week, we would like to share some thoughts from our Manager of Volunteers & Community Outreach:

I start this week with a grateful heart – grateful for the opportunity I have been given to work with an amazing team of volunteers. Grateful for the connections and conversations – being this email, over the phone or in-person – I’ve had with each of you these past two years during this very rewarding job. Grateful for all the plans we’ve made and events we’ve organised together and, most importantly, grateful for your friendship, commitment and unwavering support to ESS!

In these very trying times, I would like to express my most heart-felt thanks, to each and everyone of you, for so selflessly wanting to step up and be part of the solution. Your many emails, with offers to help those in need, have had a humbling impact on our entire team here at ESS. In times like these, it matters more than ever, how we support each-other and rise again! You have shown to us what we really mean when we say ‘We are in this together!’.

It goes without saying that everyone here at ESS wants to focus the spotlight on all ESS volunteers this week.  Words cannot express how grateful we are to you. Your support to essential services – such as, the additional telephone calls to isolated clients, making and donating cloth masks, finding donors, etc. – has not and will not go unrecognized. Just as big thank-you goes to those who help by staying home to protect themselves and our community.

I cannot wait for these social restrictions to be over, so I can give (and have) many hugs, again.

Thank you, from the very depth of my heart,

Matilda Xhediku
Manager, Volunteers & Community Outreach
ESS Support Services


Here are some special messages for all of our many and unique volunteers!


Although our group programs are currently suspended due to the pandemic, we want to recognize our Adult Day and Lunch Program Volunteers as part of #NationalVolunteerWeek.

We are very grateful to our volunteers, who add so much to our programs and the care for our clients. Our Volunteers are so caring, dedicated and considerate. We could not provide such exceptional care to our clients, without our volunteers.

Their bright faces arrive to our programs each day of the week. These volunteers support all parts of our program including meal service, helping with small-group activities and one-on-one programs for anxious clients, helping with language translation, computer games, and providing live piano dance parties and sing-a-longs.

We are so lucky to have them and are very humbled by their kindness. Thank you for all that you do for our team, the clients and the community. We cannot wait to have you back to brighten our days!


We all know the importance of social and physical connection. As people we thrive when we have meaning and regular contact with one another. This is becoming even more so apparent as the pandemic has changed the way we are able to connect with one another.

As Volunteer Week is well under way, we would like to acknowledge the important work of our friendly visiting and volunteer drivers do in maintaining a social connection with our senior community members. Often they are in contact with seniors who are living alone and may not have other social supports available. Their companionship calls and visits (when in-home visiting was possible before the pandemic) and friendly rides are such an important service whose value goes beyond ways we can measure.

Let’s keep our connections a priority. Thank you ESS volunteers!


We have many, many volunteers who play an important role in our fundraising efforts.

They participate in fundraising walks in benefit of ESS, they hand-knit items to sell to raise funds and build relationships with local businesses to collect donations and in-kind gifts for our annual Dine for Dignity Gala.

Every December a group of over 90 volunteers wrap gifts during holiday season in support of ESS. We have such gratitude for our awesome gift-wrappers, many of whom return year after year and have been volunteering with this fundraiser for 10, 15, even 20 years! They tell their neighbours and friends, they bring along their children and grandchildren, their nieces and nephews and their work colleagues. Some even take time off-work to volunteer for this fundraiser because they truly enjoy it and feel “it is important to give back”. Our customers keep returning to support us and get their gifts wrapped because of our volunteers.

We could never do this without you!


We have many ways in which volunteers support us administratively. If you call our office on Fridays, you’ll most likely speak with our long-time volunteer Alice who provides help with reception. She starts her shifts with a walk-around our office to say hello to everyone.

We also have several committees, such as Fundraising, Volunteer Advisory and Finance, just to name a few. These volunteers share their professional knowledge, experience, and a wealth of ideas and perspectives on new initiatives and projects. Their support has added much success to our achievements.

On a bigger scale volunteers support our agency with policy writing, strategic planning, executive decision making, financial approvals and audits and chairing committees. They fall under the umbrella of our Board of Directors which currently has 12 active members, representing a wide-range of backgrounds and skill-sets. Our Board Members expertise ranges from professionals in the fields of finance, law, healthcare, marketing and human resources. These individuals continue to commit their time and skills to the mission, vision and goals of the agency. Our Board Members also get involved advocacy and many of our fundraising initiatives.

For all the things you do, big and small, we want to thank you! We are grateful to have the support of each and everyone of you.


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