Me and the founder of NightShift Ministries – MaryAnne Connor

Less than one-week left before my 40 Under 40 Goals come to an end. I’ve spent the better part of today looking back on my past year. I’ve had such a great time getting to push my boundaries and comfort zone and just “going for it”.

Last week, I was very fortunate to have a different type of experience at the NightShift Ministries in Surrey. NightShift Street Ministries is a registered, not-for-profit society that has been serving people in Surrey, BC since January 2004. Meals are prepared by local churches, outreach teams or donated through corporate sponsors and served by volunteers. They provide friendship, hope, spiritual guidance, clothing and personal care kits to people in need.

I’ve always wanted to volunteer in my community and help those less fortunate. It’s always been a “tomorrow I’ll do it” kind of thing – and so I knew without a doubt that this year had to be the one to do it.

I arrived at Night Shift at 6:30 pm on a Monday night to help out. My job was to pass out coffee and juice to those who lined up for a meal. There were approximately 80 who came out that night for a hot meal.

Many knew one another and I realized that it was also their social time to meet up with those who they’ve come to know on the streets. Every one of them thanked me when I handed them a coffee – and several desired a chance to be seen and listened to that night.

So often, these are the people we walk by, without making eye contact and try to avoid. But that night, gave me a very special gift. Those people gave me far more than I gave them that night because I reconnected with my spiritual side.

So many of my goals this past year have been about me – but this, this experience wasn’t about me – it was about them.

And so I’ve decided to volunteer monthly at Night Shift and give back to those in need in our community.