Who is Dr. Dignity? Meet Anna Yo, Advocate Extraordinaire
My brother Sean brought me to HOPE House. I was trying to make volunteering at Women In Crisis work for me, but it was a bit awkward because I’m a client there. Sean suggested that volunteering at HOPE House might be a better fit for me, and he was right. I’m on ODSP, and I’ve needed to use emergency food services to make ends meet on many occasions, so the work HOPE House does really resonates with me. Right now I’m helping out with the website and working with Kimberly Lyons to write articles for the blog and newsletter. I’m so fortunate to be able to help advocate for poverty reduction in Guelph and myth-bust poverty stigmas by writing the Dr. Dignity – HOPE House Advice blog posts.
What I love about HOPE House is the community-focused culture. The community members, volunteers, and staff are all on the same team and live the same values of dignity, compassion, and encouragment. It’s not about giving hand-outs, it’s about giving hands-up. It feels really good to be on a team that has such a high emotional quotient and is so supportive.
Volunteering at HOPE House has definitely changed my life, and I’ve talked with several other volunteers who have felt the same way. Being part of this community helps people feel valued, and that helps people make better choices so they can be their best selves. It looks different for everyone – just getting out of the house and participating in life, or staying busy so they can stay sober, or finding a place where their voice can be heard so they can advocate on behalf of Guelph’s vulnerable populations. For me, volunteering here is helping me manage the symptoms of my depression, and improving my self-esteem. It’s so empowering to help our community’s vulnerable population have a voice and be heard. And that’s not even touching on the awesome programming HOPE House provides.
I love being on this team 🙂