Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre
423 - 4th Avenue SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 0C8
Volunteer Phone Number: 403-263-5707

Hours of operation:
Variable. Volunteers come at about 11:30 a.m. and usually stay until 1 p.m. or 2 p.m..
Rating: *****
Price range: Priceless
Lunch w/co-workers: Yes
Social Lunch: Yes
Lunch menu: Varies daily

Few circumstances put life into perspective as poignantly as being surrounded by the dilemma of Calgary’s homeless crisis.

A couple of weeks ago, I volunteered to serve lunch at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehab Centre, alongside my friend Megan and some very friendly people from the company she works for. The centre is bustling when we get there and at first, I find it overwhelming. A few hundred people are there for lunch, and have seated themselves among the many tables.

With our hairnets and aprons neatly in place, Megan and I are instructed by Michael, who runs the kitchen, to starting plating the food. Other volunteers are put to work buttering bread and serving the food to those sitting at the tables. For lunch today is rice, which has been made with chicken stock and smells delicious, along with a beef stew, a bun and a juice drink.

As we finished up meal service and began to walk through the large crowd to leave, an amazing thing happened — the people we had just helped to feed started clapping. Walking by, as they looked at us and said “thank you,” I felt humbled and a little unworthy. I had hardly done anything. It was just a couple of hours out of my comfortable little life – and it felt really nice to be able to help out in some small way.

Anyone who is interested can volunteer at the Drop In Centre, and, for companies who volunteer together, it is a rewarding and team building experience. There are many different types of programs to volunteer for, so if you are interested in getting involved, visit thedi.ca for more information.

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