Wood's Homes Blog

The power of volunteering

April 08, 2019
By Carol Steen, Wood's Homes Volunteer
The power of volunteering

Since 2005, Wood’s Homes Lethbridge has hosted a Gala Dinner in the spring of each year. The event is theme-based (Cinderella, Peter Pan, Pinocchio) with amazing decorations and decor, coupled with great food and live entertainment. It’s an event people look forward to every year. The guest speakers are typically previous clients of Wood’s Homes and are always a highlight, as they share their stories and how Wood’s Homes supported them along the way.  The generosity of the business community, countless volunteer hours, amazing committee members and leadership from Wood’s Homes, make this the Gala of the Year!

And, for 13 of the past 15 years, it has been my honour to host the evening as the emcee. It has been an exciting and rewarding ride! Sometimes people ask “Why do you volunteer with Wood’s Homes?”  It provides a moment to reflect...

Sometimes I say, “Because I want to give back to the community.”  As a retired educator / high school principal, I spent 34+ years working with adolescents and their families. The goal through these years was to help young people find their path to success through their high school years.  Some of them encountered many challenges along their journey. Wood’s Homes was always there to support and assist those young people, and I am grateful for the support they provided and continue to provide to youth and their families in our community and surrounding area. By volunteering and donating time, I give back to the community.

Sometimes I say, “Because I want to make a difference.” As a parent and grandparent, I want the community to be a safe and caring environment for my children, grandchildren and all other children. Each child and family takes a unique journey through life and, as expected in any journey, can experience some ‘roadblocks’ – some bigger than they can surmount on their own.  Wood’s is a place where youth and families can discover ways to manage these obstacles, while finding safety and support. As a volunteer with Wood’s Homes, I am contributing towards positive change in the community.

Sometimes I say, “Because I can!” Although there were bumps in the road when I was growing up, I always had an adult nearby to encourage me and support my journey. Now I am in a position to be there for others.

Sometimes I say, “Because it’s the right thing to do!” Every healthy community member should find a little time to contribute to our community!  It takes a village and it’s the right thing to do!

And so I say THANK YOU WOOD’S HOMES: for being there, for supporting youth and families, for making a difference in the community, for providing a safe haven for youth and families who need help, and for inviting me to be a part of this journey!  

This year marked the 15th Anniversary of the Wood’s Homes Gala with a theme “Come Sparkle With Us” to celebrate the ongoing contributions of Wood’s Homes to the community and to raise some funds for on-going programs. With a large group of volunteers and support from the community, it was another successful event. Thanks to all the volunteers who help to make it happen! 

It feels good to volunteer!

Carol Steen
Gala Emcee, Wood’s Homes Lethbridge