Celebrating Volunteerism with the Governor General of Canada

January 23rd, 2014

All Photos by: Cpl Carbe Orellana, Rideau Hall. ©Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (2013)

In celebration of International Volunteer Day, Youville Centre had two very special volunteers visit us on December 5, 2013. Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston stopped by Youville Centre to help us prepare for the holiday season! December 5th also happened to be Community Action Day, a joint venture between United Way Ottawa and Volunteer Ottawa that creates volunteer opportunities at non-profit organizations for workplace teams. This year, we were fortunate to have a lively group from Hydro Ottawa choose Youville Centre to give back and help us prepare for the holidays.

Governor General and baby-2His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canadahas a heart to heart with 1 year old Hayleigh.

As the Hydro Ottawa volunteers got to work baking cookies for our Christmas luncheon and decorating the centre for the holidays, we welcomed Their Excellencies by giving them a tour of the centre. In true volunteer spirit, they jumped in and helped out with the tasks of the day, enjoying the company of our students, infants and toddlers along the way.

Lunch Room Scene-2His Excellency says hello to some of Youville Centre’s toddlers, staff and volunteers as they enjoy a healthy snack in the children’s dining room.

Governor General - Lending Library - YouvilleL to R: Youville Centre Board President Megan Wallace, Executive Director Cindy Simpson, Youville student Madison and her son Chase, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, the Governor General of Canada, and Youville student Skylah and her son Mason.

During a tour of the centre, Youville Centre’s Board President, Megan Wallace, and Executive Director, Cindy Simpson proudly showed off Youville’s new Lending Library, which was donated by Walton Developments to support our Me, My Baby, Our World Parenting Program. This investment was made possible through United Way Ottawa. Impressed by the library and its educational toys and books, our special guests decided to donate some of their favourite books! When the books arrived at the centre shortly after this visit, they were beautifully bound in official ribbon from Rideau Hall.

GG and Sharon bakingDuring their time in the centre, our special volunteers helped the Hydro Ottawa volunteers in their tasks of baking Christmas cookies and trimming the tree. Their Excellencies embraced the tasks with enthusiasm — The Governor General even agreed to wear our special Christmas teddy bear apron!

Trimming the treeYouville Centre’s tree was made brighter by the Governor General of Canada.

Classroom Group ShotYouville Centre’s young mothers, staff and volunteers all thoroughly enjoyed meeting Their Excellencies.

Group Shot with Hydro Ottawa VolunteersHydro Ottawa volunteers enjoyed sharing their volunteer tasks with our special guests.

It was a wonderful treat to receive a visit from Their Excellencies. It was inspiring to see them roll up their sleeves and volunteer; celebrating what they called one of their “Giving Moments“. Many thanks to Their Excellencies; Hydro Ottawa volunteers; United Way Ottawa and Volunteer Ottawa for helping to make December 5th a very memorable day for Youville Centre.