Betty Kaahwa’s Story

My journey coming to Lodgepole. I really liked to engage with people, to interact with people, and to also feel love, being that I was new here in Canada. The moment I came, I looked for a place to volunteer. When I started volunteering here, people were so loving, like real friends. They didn’t know where I was coming from, they would come hug me. It made me feel free. I felt joy and it made me want to come back, come back, come back. I felt like I should go and volunteer.

I also learned a lot of things, which I didn’t know about the culture here because it was new. I didn’t know most things. But through interacting with people, chatting with them, laughing with them, I got to learn more about the culture here. This has been helping me also, to get used to the culture.  They helped me out, I would say things, and they would say, oh, you say it like this. I’m always learning.

In my heart I love to make sure that people get what they need. That’s what inspired me to interact with people, to listen to their challenges. People don’t expect the chance to share what’s happening in their life and you go and give time to that person. They explain things to you, they share and that makes them feel comfortable. Becoming almost a friend really fast. When I first came here, I would be passing through and people would say hi, and I wasn’t around for a week they would say, we didn’t see you?

I serve the community and have compassion for everyone who comes here. I want to make sure people get what they need and to make everyone happy. That’s why I always smile with them, encourage them, so that they feel that they are loved, that they belong. It’s a calling.

I would like Lodgepole to continue to welcome people who are in need, people who are homeless, people who are immigrants. When people come here without knowing where to start from, they can come here and can have a meal and somebody to talk to. You can be lonely when come to Canada. You get a lot of thoughts, you’re not in your country, in your mother land. People become more depressed, and eventually ill.  But when they get to a place like this one, which is welcoming to you the way you are, regardless of whether you’ve got a home. It’s really a vital place for many people, regardless of colour, regardless, where you come from. Everyone is served equally. Everyone is loved equally, regardless of character.

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two happy women selling baked goods from Lodgepole Bakery