This story is from Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and is shared by volunteer Edie Spears and MPNH staff. It is a story of volunteerism, food, seniors and the importance of connection.
Edie Spears became involved in the Neighbourhood House eight years ago, when she moved into the community. “I moved one block from MPNH” said Edie and “I heard they had a Seniors Program, with seniors lunches. I started volunteering by setting up, passing out food, having lunch, cleaning up and then playing bingo together. Because I was new in the area, [the Neighbourhood House] made me feel a part of the community!”
As the years passed Edie’s connection to MPNH deepened, she knew that her commitment to volunteering was good for the Neighbourhood House, her neighbours, and especially herself! Then March 2020 hit, and like us all, Edie found herself in social isolation in her apartment nearby.
At the beginning of the pandemic, like in many communities, it became clear that food would be imperative to maintain connection with Mount Pleasant’s seniors, and that’s when Edie received a phone call from MPNH staff! In April 2020, Edie and over 20 other volunteers, began delivering meals to neighbouring seniors, who weren’t able to leave their homes during the height of the pandemic.
“The connections were so important at that time because a lot of the people never talked to anyone!” reflected Edie “We made sure they were ok, that they were healthy, and see if we could do anything else for them.” The connections that Edie made with her neighbours during these last 17 months have not only kept them going, but gave her purpose as well.
The program is continuing to operate, and is strongly supported by volunteers, community and donations. And Edie has no plans in stopping her commitment to MPNH and her neighbours: “I'm amazed that this food has been coming for so long, the people that get it are so thankful. There is always a smile and a thank you, and that is all I really need!”
Thank you for sharing your Mount Pleasant story Edie, your commitment to connecting with your neighbours is inspiring!