Every Thursday, you will find them at The Mustard Seed church in downtown Edmonton. Gary, Mitzie Deehan, and their daughter, Carmen, are familiar faces there. They should be they have been volunteers there for 15 years.
One year, their wedding anniversary fell on a Thursday. Carmen remembers some of the community members saying to her father, Gary, “What are you doing here, don’t you love your wife, you should be taking her out?” Gary replied, “I did take her out for supper at The Mustard Seed.”
They do whatever is asked of them. From collecting plates, cleaning up, running the coffee bar, sorting clothes to serving a meal. Mitzie says simply,
“We do it for the community members, for the Irwins and the Annies. We don’t need a pat on the back it’s not why we do it.”
Carmen says proudly, “I get more out of it than I give. The community members are fabulous teachers. I appreciate the small things in life more than I did before. I appreciate the blessings I have in my life. You get a different perspective.”
Last year, over 17,000 volunteers donated their time in Edmonton. The Deehans are part of that dedicated group of individuals. They’re proud to be recognized for National Volunteer Appreciation week.
The Deehans also collect items from friends and family to donate. They hope more people will volunteer in the future. Gary says the people they have met are amazing. “They have become very close acquaintances of ours. We have gone to funerals. We have celebrated the births of their children; we have gone to weddings of the people in the community. We have strong relationships.”