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This week is National Volunteer Week – a time to recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers. Here at The Ottawa Mission, we simply could not help as many people in need without the dedicated support of our compassionate army of volunteers. Each week we are able to fill an amazing 250 volunteer shifts at the shelter. From preparing and serving meals to organizing clothing donations and helping out at our learning centre, our volunteers do so much to help people in need.

The husband and wife team of Mark and Holly Patterson are two shining examples. Mark and Holly have been volunteering with us since 2007. At each holiday meal they are front and centre. Mark greets and shakes the hand of every person who walks in the door, while Holly expertly works the tables and shows people to their seats. With an average of 2500 meals served in a 5-1/2 hour timeframe at these special dinners, Mark and Holly are kept very busy.

But their contribution to these dinners is much more than keeping things moving along smoothly. They believe that those who come to these dinners are our invited guests and they all deserve to be warmly welcomed, treated with respect, and made to feel special. From the happiness and fellowship felt throughout the dining room, Mark and Holly are truly adding their own wonderful magic to these events.

Thank you Mark and Holly, and everyone else who is part of our special “army”, for all that you do.

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