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Volunteerism helps everyday worries fade into background

May, 2010

Most people know Sun Youth at our headquarters on St. Urbain St., the former Baron-Byng High School, which the organization has occupied since 1991.

Another big part of Sun Youth, unknown to the public, is our warehouse on de Gaspé St.

This is where donated food is stored, sorted and arranged in food hampers.

There is only one regular Sun Youth staff member there, but the organization can count on a faithful team of volunteers.

Léonce Simard has been volunteering at Sun Youth since 1991. Photo: Nicolas Carpentier

One of these volunteers is Léonce Simard, who has been volunteering at the warehouse for 12 years.

His tasks range from unloading trucks full of food to sorting and preparing baskets to be shipped to Sun Youth headquarters for distribution.

Léonce got involved with Sun Youth after he lost his job in 1995. He went back to school for two years to reorient his career, and while pursuing his studies, he discovered Sun Youth.

Léonce says he is proud of the work he does and that it makes him feel good, mentally and physically.

It says it keeps him busy, away from his everyday worries, but it also keeps him in shape. It is a real pleasure, he says, for him to give his time to Sun Youth.

When groups visit to volunteer for a day, he will often show them how the job is done and how to be efficient. After all, he has a lot of experience and has seen volunteers come and go over his many years of service.

We can count on Léonce to be soft-spoken, well mannered and always have a smile on his face.

Sun Youth was founded by volunteers 56 years ago and they work in every sector: Some, like Léonce, help manage and redistribute the great generosity Montrealers show during the year.

Others are responsible for coaching young athletes involved in our Hornets sports teams, while many are directly involved in meeting with the underprivileged clientele to assess their needs.

Léonce is a member of the organization’s Monthly Senior Food Supplement program, where senior citizens living on a fixed income visit the organization once a month to receive a food hamper.

It gives him pride to know he is behind the making of these food baskets that are distributed to his peers monthly.

For more information about volunteer work at Sun Youth or the Monthly Senior Food Supplement program, call 514-842-6822.



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