My Experience at Moisson Rive Sud
by DeborahLaroche on December 6, 2017 - 7:40pm
On October 17th, 2016, the CBC published an article entitled “Montreal's working poor on the rise, study finds,” talking about the fact that as prices are rising, salaries are not and many people are extremely affected by this. In fact, from 2001 to 2012, the working-poor population rose 30%. It is important to understand this isa crisis for the city of Montreal, and that somethings can be done to help those in need.
On November 25, I volunteered at the Moisson Rive-Sud in Boucherville. As it was not my first time, I did not have to go through the whole process of introduction and explanation. However, to make things more clear I’ll explain what first timers should expect. They take you around the big building as they explain their mission; notably, distributing non-perishable goods to organizations that will then help feed families in need, like the ones mentioned in the CBC article.
Then, your 5 hour shift begins.
On a very long table, the volunteers are teamed up in pairs, I was with my mother (it wasn’t her first time either). The men who work at the organization bring huge wooden pallets each holding boxes of a certain kind of non-perishable food. As volunteers, our job is to fill cardboard boxes with a variety of goods. My mom and I see it as a game Tetris: how to fit the highest number of products in the box. After an hour and a half, a 15 minute break. The organization provides snacks, coffee, water bottles, and everything you would need to get some energy to continue working. At noon, we get 30 minutes to have lunch, which we have to bring. A part from the kinds of goods that we box, not much changes throughout the day. Finally, at 2pm, your day as a volunteer for Moisson Rive-Sud is over.
After volunteering, I always have a sense of gratitude. I’m thankful for everything that I have and will have in the future, and I feel very aware of the chance I have to not be in a situation where I don’t know where my next meal is coming from. As mentioned in the CBC article, people who need the help provided by Moisson Rive-Sud are living in poor conditions and have a salary that’s below the Statistics Canada low-income measure.
I have volunteered with two organizations in the past, Moisson Rive-Sud and La Maison du Père. What strikes me the most about Moisson Rive-Sud is that unlike other organizations, the regular full-time workers are very cold. They are glad to have volunteers helping them but aren’t very welcoming in the sense that they just want you to do your job and that’s it. However to me, it doesn't take away from the experience.
It is important for the mass media to cover subjects like poverty and homelessness. Not only does it make the public aware of the issues going on in there city, but also makes it more likely that someone might volunteer or seek to help someone in need. Of curse this is true for all social issues, but since homelessness is very close to my heart, I would love to see more people, especially from my generation to volunteer and talk about their experience unsocial media. As young adult, we should use our platform to inform people and start a conversation about issues like these.
For the multimedia aspect of my project I decided to do a painting representing my view of poverty and homelessness. I used dark colours for the background and white to draw the flower. The flower was drawn in colour pencil, and in my mother’s style of drawing. She is the one who initiated me to volunteering and taught me the importance of giving back, so this was a little shout out to her.
The goal was to represent the sadness and sorrow that comes with homelessness but also the hope and positivity that organizations and shelters represent for the men and women who are living in those situations.
Here is the information to volunteer with:
Moisson Rive-Sud: 450 641-1895 or by email at email@example.com
Acceuil Bonneau: 514-845-3906, or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Maison du Père: 514 845-0168