Saturday, December 26, 2009

The holiday spirit of volunteerism

For a Christmas-time story, The Toronto Star profiled Elaine Rennie and her 30 years of volunteer work. Rennie spends her Christmas volunteering at the Scott Mission kitchen serving food to the homeless for their annual holiday meal.

Toronto Star writer Debra Black talked to Rennie about her work.

"I get a lot out of it," she said. "For years I've volunteered in God's work." That work has included volunteering at her church and the Canadian Bible Society as well.

But she goes to the Scott Mission every Christmas, just to be part of something bigger.

"I get more back in personal satisfaction and spiritual being than I actually give," said the senior, who lives in Richmond Hill.

The first year Rennie volunteered with the Scott Mission at Christmas, she baked a dozen cookies for the homeless. She and her husband gave them out.

"I just decided it was something I wanted to do," she said.

Her husband died a year and a half ago, she said, but she still feels the pull at Christmastime to volunteer at the mission.

Approximately 350 homeless men and women were treated Friday to a dinner of tomato soup, salad, smoked turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables and a fruit flan.

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