Harold has been volunteering at the Friendship Inn for years with his wife, Chris. When available, they come in weekly and spend a morning in the dry storage room. They tidy the storage room and sort the donations on to the shelves. Their work means that when the cooks are deciding what to make for lunch they can see immediately how much of the same item is available, and then the cooks also grab the oldest donations to use first.
Harold was working in the storage room when Shaw Cable came to volunteer and feature the Friendship Inn on Go! Saskatoon. Check out his interview!
Thank you to all the Fill the Plate Donors! We cannot do the work we do without such great supporters. We had daily sponsors for every day in December 2014 as well as many more donors in the Fill the Plate Campaign. We are grateful for every gift, large or small! We also had many volunteers come to support us throughout December, including some fantastic volunteers on Christmas Day. Many of the daily sponsors supported the Friendship Inn with volunteers in addition to sponsorship.
Thank you for taking a moment to hear a few of the Stories from the Inn. Executive Director Sandra Stack asked a few guests and staff to shared their stories on camera, so others could understand why she’s inspired by the transformations experienced. We hope the resulting video provide you with a glimpse of the people whose daily lives are influenced by the services provided.
Jayne is returning to her home in Northern Ireland, and we are grateful for the hours of work she has given to the Friendship Inn. For the last five weeks she has been coming in at 7:00am from Monday to Friday and working in the kitchen.
Jayne arrived in Saskatoon several months ago, but during her time here she struggled and had to stop what she was doing and focus on getting healthy. When she was starting to feel better she heard about the Friendship Inn and thought it would be a good place to give her time.
On her first day, Tyler, the kitchen manager, had her fry eggs for breakfast; not just a few eggs, but a hundred eggs. For someone who was not comfortable in a kitchen, this was a good challenge. Over her five week stay Jayne has enjoyed the teamwork that takes place in the kitchen to make meals happen.
Jayne enjoyed the atmosphere in the kitchen among the staff and volunteers. She saw how the staff give jobs to the volunteers, they give a task and see if you can handle it. If you can, they give you more like that. If they see you can’t do that, they give you something else to do. The trust of the kitchen manager has been great. She observed how good the staff are with people, making the team work smoothly together.
She has been encouraged in her confidence and in her sense of usefulness by volunteering her time. Having a place to go at 7:00 each morning with a purpose was good for her. She was impressed by watching how the meals come together using the donated food. She saw how they balance the fresh food that comes in, with other donations to create a simple, healthy meal that pleases the Friendship Inn guests. Jayne is taking away with her some creative ideas for meals.
This week Jayne is going home to Ireland and is planning to look for work or volunteer opportunities in a kitchen. Thank you Jayne for your hard work. We are glad to send you home with confidence and a smile on your face.
Executive Director, Sandy Stack and Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Bratton, had a chance to sit down with guest and friend, Half Moon, when he shared his story. Half Moon started the story a couple years ago, when he moved from Nipawin to Clavet to live with his father; he was working hard as a welder in the neighbouring town, Colonsay. New to the area, he didn’t realize how close he was living to the city of Saskatoon. Once he discovered he was only 10 min away, he began to spend time in the city.
All too soon, Half Moon got into alcohol and drugs. He no longer was able to hold down his job as a welder. As his addiction continued, he was offered options to get clean, but he wasn’t ready. He got another job, but again, the addictions took priority and he lost that job as well.
During this time, Half Moon heard about places to get food, like “the bridge,” but when he waited at the bridge crossing the South Saskatchewan River that runs through Saskatoon, he never saw the soup and sandwiches he had heard about. Soon he discovered that The Bridge is an organization that serves food from their building on 20th Street. Soon after being introduced to The Bridge, he was also introduced to the Saskatoon Friendship Inn down the road.
At the Friendship Inn Half Moon received food, even his main source of food. But more than that, he entered into community. He said we are “almost like a family here. I’ve gotten to know everyone here.” And Sandy replied, “You are like family to us, too.”
Half Moon did make a change, he wanted to be able to work and live a better life. He got clean and sober and things have improved. Although, living straight is not easy. He still has struggled, his father passed away, and his son was shot, so he has spent a lot of time in the hospital. He also seeks out support. Besides friendship and the food, Half Moon has also attended AA meetings at the Friendship Inn and utilized the stable services of the family worker to find a safe living situation and to find a job.
Half Moon is doing well, he is now working a steady job for the city, cleaning and repairing pot holes. It is a joy to see him with a smile on his face, and willing to share the journey he has been on. At the end of his story, Sandy was holding back tears, and she was so proud of the hard work Half Moon has done.