“I was brought up to be thankful for what I have and to give back to those who are less fortunate.”
— Martine Valentine, Technology and Operations, CIBC, Ontario
“I started volunteering at North York Harvest Food Bank (NYH) 12 years ago, and I’m so glad I did. Since then, NYH has moved to a much larger, brighter facility, serving as a warehouse and office space for sorting and packing food for the local communities and providing healthy snacks to nearby schools.
I organize food sorting teams at CIBC, where there is never a shortage of volunteers. There’s always a waiting list for colleagues to sign up, many who also sign up their kids for volunteer hours. They end up coming out of their volunteer experience with a newfound appreciation for what they have and the importance of giving back.
I volunteer at several organizations, and when people ask why I do it, it’s simple. My mom held several jobs while raising five kids. She taught us to be good citizens and always recognize how much you have and to give back to those who are less fortunate.
I always say “don’t judge a book by its cover” — people can come into hard times very quickly and out of nowhere. No matter people’s situation, everyone deserves a healthy meal.”