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Meet William: A Dedicated Covenant House Vancouver Volunteer

This week we’re sharing our endless gratitude for and recognition of all the volunteers who help make it possible to offer young people in need the services that we do. As we look back over the year and all the different ways in which volunteers have helped make our aspirations for program developments, services and supports the thriving reality that youth are increasingly benefitting from, it’s honestly an impossible task to single out even a small group, let alone an individual, from the countless volunteers who help us every day here at Covenant House Vancouver. That’s not just because every single volunteer truly does make Every Moment Matter working to serve youth who are in program with us, but because each and every one gives so much and their contributions make such a huge impact. 

In today’s blog we’ve we’ve taken a moment to speak with one of our volunteers to give you a glimpse into the rich and varied lives that all our volunteers lead, as well as understand a little bit about what draws them to help support the youth that we serve. 

To that end, we recently had the honor and privilege of checking in with William Lindsay about his life and what brought him to volunteer with us: 


Can you share a little about your background? 
I am recently retired after working for twenty-five years in post-secondary education in numerous colleges and universities (as author; educator/professor; Senior Director). These institutions include UBC, SFU, and Concordia University in Montreal. I’m Cree-Stoney (Indigenous) from the Plains but grew up on the west coast. My teaching and administrative career has revolved around Indigenous issues.  

How did you first hear about Covenant House Vancouver? 
I was looking for a place to volunteer in retirement. Working with youth appealed to me, after my background in education, and my own background as a street youth in the ’70s. 

What volunteer work do you do at Covenant House Vancouver? 
I volunteer in the kitchen on Thursdays. I help prepare the food that feeds the kids. I have a background in kitchen work in my long-ago 20s, so I love it!  

What drew you to volunteer? 
I’ve volunteered throughout my adult life. It’s my way to give back to society. It’s actually a foundation of my week. I look forward to coming in and helping out every week. The staff here at Covenant House is first class, too, caring and friendly.  

What drew you to volunteer at Covenant House Vancouver? 
I get to work for/with youth. I was a street kid (homeless) myself in my teenage years for some years. I was a Covenant House youth before there was a Covenant House! As I like to say… 

How long have you volunteered with Covenant House Vancouver? 
I am into my second year here now, having started in February, 2023.  

Do you have 1 memory that stands out from your time volunteering at Covenant House Vancouver? 
I got to introduce my award-winning book, ‘Rez Dog Blues & The Haiku: A Savage Life in Bits and Pieces’ (my memoir of my time on the rez and streets in the ’70s) to government ministers here, which they accepted copies of. A book that’s got some good attention, it’s an excellent way to inform people why we need a place like Covenant House.  

It was a really inspiring opportunity to learn from William about his background and how he came to volunteer with us, one of a very rich and diverse tapestry of volunteers who make CHV’s work possible every day. THANK YOU ALL!!  

We are on the lookout for some more amazing volunteers to help us out in the kitchen, with serving meals and to deliver other services and supports for the young people we serve. Head to our website to learn more about the opportunities available:

We look forward to you joining the volunteer family!