By Jim Timlick
With the exception of family, there are few things David feels more passionately about than his work with Winnipeg Harvest and his favourite football team.
Those two passions came together when David was honoured during a special pre-game ceremony at Investors Group Field prior to the June 1 game between the hometown Winnipeg Blue Bombers and visiting Edmonton Eskimos.
David was presented with an IBAM Community Hero Award by the football club to recognize his years of service as a volunteer with the local food bank. The award pays tribute to individuals who have made a positive impact on their community.
“I was shocked. It was a surprise,” David says about when he first learned he was to receive the award. “I was really pleased. My wife (Tricia) and my family were really pleased too. It made me feel really good inside.”
In conjunction with the award, David was presented with a Bombers jersey, tickets to the game for him and his family and was recognized on the field prior to the game including a tribute on the stadium’s Jumbotron. He even got to meet Bombers President and CEO Wade Miller and shake hands with mascots Buzz and Boomer.
What made the recognition even more special was the fact David is a lifelong Bombers fan and one of the team’s most ardent supporters.
“It made it extra special coming from the Blue Bombers,” David says, admitting he felt a flood of emotions as he headed down to the field for the award presentation.
“I was nervous. I didn’t know what to expect going down to the field. (Bombers staff) told me to just relax and enjoy myself. Everybody told me how proud they were of me. The people from Harvest told me they were pleased for me too.”
David was nominated for the award by Winnipeg Harvest and Volunteer Services Manager Tyler Engel. Engel says David was truly deserving of the honour.
“David has done some amazing work here. He’s here like clockwork each week and he’s busy the whole time he’s here,” says Engel, adding David was also honoured by Harvest this past spring for his more than 2,700 hours of service on behalf of the organization.
“The other thing with David is that he keeps everyone’s spirits up around here. He’s always joking around with everyone. He adds so much to the positive atmosphere here at Harvest. He’s always in a good mood and everyone just responds to him.”
David, who is supported through Epic Opportunities’ Supported Independent Living (SIL) program, has been involved with Winnipeg Harvest for nearly a decade. He works at the food bank’s Winnipeg Avenue warehouse three or four times a week, sorting items in its storeroom and helping on its fleet of trucks with deliveries and pick-ups.
While the work itself is rewarding, David says the best part of his involvement with Winnipeg Harvest is the opportunities it’s given him to forge relationships with people.
“I enjoy the people I work with, which is definitely a draw. That’s why I stay there. And I can’t just sit at home all day sitting on the computer. I don’t have the patience for it,” he says, laughing.
“One of the best parts is when I’m bringing food to people and they smile and say thank you. That’s when I feel happy. It opens up my heart. On those days I’m always smiling when I come home and in a good mood.”