For the experts at Travel Edge – the largest luxury-focused travel agency in North America – it must be a common occurrence to read comments like, "It’s an amazing place,” "It was really fun!” and “Everyone in the group walked away feeling great.” It's the kind of feedback you receive after crafting experiences that are personalized and rewarding. Ironically, this feedback was from Travel Edge staff after volunteering for the first time at Haven Toronto.
Imagine how challenging it must be
to deliver a unique experience to someone
who plans unique experiences for a living.
With help from United Way Greater Toronto, Kensington Tours and Travel Edge recently volunteered at Haven Toronto, preparing and serving lunch for elder men aged 50+. Men who have been impacted by poverty, homelessness and isolation; most of whom, if not all, are food insecure and have missed a meal or gone a day or days without eating.
It was the first time Kensington Tours and Travel Edge visited Haven Toronto, a place that is off the radar. Haven Toronto? Most people in city have never heard of it. Few think of going there. And those who do aren’t sure what to expect. Sure, it will be unique. But will it be fulfilling? Memorable? A place where you want to return?
But don’t take our word for it. Here's what Travel Edge – experts in creating unique experiences – have to say about volunteering at Haven Toronto:
“I absolutely loved the volunteer work at Haven Toronto. It’s an amazing place with such kind and appreciative people. It was also really fun! We had a great time just hanging out while prepping the meal and then serving it to clients was really rewarding. Not one person passed without saying thank you and several people came back to compliment the chefs!” –Nicole Tal
“Volunteering at Haven Toronto broadened my perspective on the demographics of homelessness. Feeling the gratitude from the clients for helping provide just a single meal was so rewarding. Haven Toronto is doing an incredible service to the neighbourhood and I hope everyone at Kensington & Travel Edge has a chance to be a part of it.” –Murali Kulachandran
“Today was definitely rewarding. I think everyone in the group walked away feeling great and that we had all done something nice for Haven Toronto. The staff and the members were very friendly and very easy to work with. I can’t tell you how many times I heard the cooks or staff thank us for coming. I found myself thanking them for what they do, for the opportunity and for letting us be a part of their day. I think it would be a great opportunity for us to re-visit and allow others to volunteer here as well. They did mention we could come back and help out in numerous ways.” –Joe Scardigno
Often, volunteers are motivated by the thought of giving back. Few realize, until they are immersed in the experience, that they get out of volunteering more than they give. That’s what makes Haven Toronto a favourite destination for volunteers.
Think about it, 'Haven Toronto – Yours To Discover'. It has a nice ring to it. Then again, so does 'Haven Toronto – A Place To Grow'.
Want to volunteer? Click here.