Acupuncture at HOPE House? You bet!
Meet Bonnie Adams – a registered acupuncturist in Guelph, and a cherished volunteer here at HOPE House.
Bonnie, what brought you to HOPE House?
Last summer, I was working at a booth at the Wednesday market in the square downtown. The clinic I work at was marketing our services and I was offering people the chance to try a “mini-acupuncture” session. I had several people come by to talk to me, who were really interested in trying acupuncture. Some of them had tried acupuncture treatment for injuries or accidents in the past and found it very helpful, but when their insurance benefits ran out, they couldn’t afford it anymore.
Several people were on ODSP and could barely afford food or rent, so something like acupuncture treatment was totally out of reach for them. I got into a helping field because I actually want to help people. Most people who come to see me have extended health benefits through their workplace to cover their treatment. I feel that more people should have access to this amazing therapy, not just those who have been fortunate enough to land a job with insurance benefits!
I have lived and worked in downtown Guelph for more than 20 years. I have seen the need for more support for our community growing over the last several years and I wanted to do what I could to help. If others had not helped me in my life, I would not have had the opportunity to become an acupuncturist in the first place, so I felt it was time for me to pay it forward.
I am also a big believer that if you think that “someone should do something” to help, the first place you need to look is in your mirror.
I approached Marty Williams at the Downtown Business Association for ideas on how I could help. He introduced me to Jaya at Hope House and here we are!
What do you like about volunteering at HOPE House?
I keep coming back to HOPE House because of the people. They are all so friendly and welcoming. They are good, strong people who are always trying to help each other. They are so appreciative of anything you can do for them and they are trying to make our community a better place for everyone.
How have you seen HOPE House change lives?
One of my favourite things about HOPE House is how they empower people. Everyone falls on hard times now and then. Some people seem to have more misfortune than others and that can really harm a person’s self-esteem and confidence. HOPE House provides community activities, services, and learning opportunities. There is no intense screening process to qualify for help like there is in some other places, which can make a person feel even worse about themselves. Many of the activities and services are organized and offered by members of the HOPE House community, who have become volunteers themselves. We all have something important to offer and I think that HOPE House helps people to see that everyone has their own value to give to the community. When everyone helps, everyone benefits.