To highlight last month’s National Volunteer Week we met with Lisa Perrault, Coordinator of Volunteers at Sun Youth. Her involvement began when she “volunteered for five summers at the Sleepaway Camp for the Moms’ Turn program.”
This initiative allowed single mothers and their children to spend a week together in the countryside taking a break from city life. She also volunteered in the camp kitchen as a cook. “I was hooked,” she says. Perrault isn’t the first volunteer to get hooked by Sun Youth. The organization was founded in 1954 by volunteers Earl De La Perralle, then nine and Sid Stevens, 13, as a sports and recreation club for underprivileged children. Today volunteers are still at the heart of Sun Youth with 1,735 of them assisting the organization last year and contributing a total of 165,764 hours the equivalent of 80 full-time jobs.
To become a volunteer is call Lisa Perrault at 514-842-6822 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an interview. “We meet with them to see what they are looking for, what they can offer us, and what we can offer them. I give them a little tour and explain what Sun Youth does.”
Volunteers at Sun Youth are diversified. Many people want to volunteer after coming to receive help. “We also have students, starting as early as 12.”
Perrault’s two children volunteer at Sun Youth. Her 14-year-old son volunteers when he has PED days while her eight-year-old daughter comes at Christmas-time to wrap presents. Perrault says corporate teambuilding is popular. “We just had the TD Bank that did six weeks straight. Every Wednesday they went to the warehouse to help out.”
Lisa says Sun Youth volunteers are her second family and she cherishes them. “These people allow the organization to do so much with limited resources. They do everything!”
“I find the volunteers have a lot of compassion,” she says. And they receive something in return. “They feel they are helping out their community.”
Thank you to all our precious volunteers for your hard work and dedication. You are the heart and soul of our organization and the reason while we are still around after 64 years!