Doug Janzen – a dedicated volunteer at our Downtown Youth Centre

Published March 14, 2016 17:43

Doug is a retired tradesman spending some of his free time hanging out with our youth and staff at the Club. Doug is always a positive presence and can be found sitting on the couches talking to youth about their lives, helping to serve meals, or even in the kitchen cleaning dishes.

Many of the youth coming to the Youth Centre hope to gain employment in trades and labour but don’t know where to start. They don’t have their high school diplomas, or don’t have a lot of experience, they don’t know what path to take, or they don’t have any networks in the industry to help them get a foot in the door.

That’s where Doug comes in. He is always accepting and honest with the youth when they identify barriers to employment, but he holds them to realistic expectations for the work world: asking them to show up nicely dressed, resume in hand to meet with him and talk about their goals.

Doug doesn’t have any magic wands or miracles up his sleeves, but he sees a spark in our youth, and coaches them to get ready for work. He knows the value of his role in their lives.

Most recently, Doug was involved in one young man’s journey – let’s call him Mark. Mark had some experience in trades and goals to become a welder. We have known him for years, and have also known his drive: after setting his mind to working up north, Mark travelled to a work camp, sleeping outside in a tent until he was hired. Mark now has a new baby, and gaps in his resume due to spending time in hospital with his son. He needed someone to believe in him, and he proved himself to Doug. Doug spoke to a contractor friend about Mark and before we knew it we were getting an excited phone call saying he’d been hired and Mark may be considered for apprenticeship after 3 months!

Volunteering is rewarding. Everyone has something special to share. And if you’ve thought about volunteering before but you weren’t sure what you brought to the table, come see us. We’ll find your talents and help you shine.

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