Summer Student Program Brings More Love to Oak Table

By 1JustCity Citizen
September 20, 2018

As summer comes to a close and classes start back up, student’s head back to school leaving many of their summer leisure’s and summer work placements behind. Last week, Oak Table said farewell to their summer student staff. As part of funding from Canada Summer Jobs Oak Table Inc. was granted funding for five full time staff for the summer months of June to August. With this financial support, the summer staff were able to help Oak Table and their thousands of guests with programming, food prep, IT, and leave a meaningful impact in the community. Like Oak Table, the summer student program created a community of compassion and hope. Its aim was to help better the lives of anyone who walked through the doors at 109 Pulford St.

Harvey, Oak Table’s volunteer coordinator shared, “summer is a very busy time for us and to have students is really a benefit to all of us. We applied for five summer students and we got them! All five. It had a great effect on us being able to serve [our guests] much better”!

Stephan, Hanna, Nate, Bear and Armit came to Oak Table from various educational backgrounds and with varying interests, although their love for working with others truly resonated with not only the guests but with the dedicated volunteer staff.

Oak table helps many of Winnipeg’s underloved find the basic essentials and resources they need daily, like: a warm meal, access to a phone or computer and a friendly reminder that someone cares.

“The energy from our students created some great programs and some great events. The summer students were a big help to us and our ability to provide programs and events that [our guests] might not be able to afford,” Harvey stated.

During the summer, the students helped improve the overall experience for Oak Table guests and volunteers. Their tasks ranged from helping manage the food handling process (for hundreds of guests per week), to helping plan activities in the community and to developing programs for guests when they visited. The summer students planned day trips to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Legislative Building, the beach, bowling, and even hosted a community BBQ.

The atmosphere that the students created lifted spirits, brought laughter and facilitated many good times for Oak Table guests this summer. As Harvey pointed out, “most peoples lives are going day to day and to have these extra activities…really helps guests better their lives. It really helps guests experience new things that they might not ever have or would ever be able to”.

“The students have really brought a lot to Oak Table. The summer student program helps open their eyes to certain services that are often overlooked or taken for granted”. We wish they could stay with us all year. They’ve done such a good job and we will really miss them,” shared Harvey.

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