Ross Munro is 83 years “young” and has been volunteering at The Ottawa Mission for 15 years. For most of that time, he worked side by side with his dear wife Hariot who sadly passed away in 2012. Ross and Hariot became fixtures at The Mission over the years – often giving up to 3 days a week of their time – and they made a lasting impression on everyone, staff and clients alike. As testimony to this, when Hariot passed away, not only was there a special service for her in The Mission’s Chapel, but several clients – whom Hariot always referred to as “her boys”- attended her public funeral, and four of them even sang for her. Ross was, in his words, “overwhelmed by their support”.
Ross continued volunteering after Hariot’s passing, working mostly in the kitchen, but always making his presence felt among those he served. When he was finished his kitchen chores, he would make a point of going out and mingling with the people who had come in for a meal. Ross says one of his greatest joys was when someone in the lunch line who was clearly lonely and sad would finally respond to him by smiling, saying hello, or laughing at one of his jokes. This simply made his day. For Ross, his volunteer work has been a real labour of love. His eyes well up when he speaks of what a privilege it is to serve “the boys” – many of whom have been so badly hurt in their lives. And, he points out what a lot of people feel – “There but for the grace of God go I.”
Ross recently retired from his volunteer position at The Mission. But he says he will definitely drop by from time to time to help out in a less formal capacity and, most importantly to him, to keep in touch with everyone at The Mission, especially “the boys”.
Thank you for everything Ross, and God bless.