Mike Alfieri – Electrical

Mkie AlfieriI started volunteering in the Electrical Dept. at the Grimsby Benevolent Fund over a year ago along with my wife Marisa who has been actively involved in Grimsby’s social causes since the early 1980’s. I am asked often what lures me to the GBF. In essence, volunteering is about giving one’s own time, energy, and skills freely. Volunteers generally express a sense of achievement and motivation and this represents an innate desire and enthusiasm to help others. One cannot live a perfect day without doing something for someone else who will never be able to repay you. As Winston Churchill once remarked: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life for what we give”. Marisa and I have imparted to our children the ideals of volunteerism and community involvement as part of their learning experience in causes that mattered to them while growing into young adults. Their efforts were recognized by the community as our eldest child, Michelle, became the recipient of “Junior Citizen of the Year” in Grimsby in 1999. I retain a sense of responsibility as a member of the community to support the GBF in their diverse and charitable endeavors to support those who are unfortunately snarled in the grips of poverty and who need a stepping stone towards a better tomorrow. There Is no better charitable organization in Grimsby which directly soothes the economic burden of less privileged members of our community than the Grimsby Benevolent Fund. Rent supplements, food and emergency assistance, clothing allowances, furniture and household donations, relocation support for newcomers to Grimsby and surrounding areas, are some of the numerous benefits that GBF generously bestows on the needy individuals and their families facing hardships. In the Electrical Dept., a skillful group of volunteers deploy their expertise in their efforts to restore donated household appliances and electronics to functional and safe condition prior to public sale in the GBF retail outlet. The ultimate goal is to generate revenue to enable the GBF support its numerous causes. Most private donations made to the GBF including food, clothing, shoes, Jewelry, books, sports equipment etc. are destined to its retail store as well. The volunteer network plays a pivotal role in receiving, handling, and merchandising donations. At the GBF, volunteers are seduced by good intentions to help the GBF deliver its critical services to the needy. Their ideals contradict the strong dynamics of self interest. Helping the GBF in its magnanimous efforts to help others has long been viewed as an altruistic and selfless behavioral model. Furthermore, for most volunteers, the opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life provides a social network that creates an escape from the everyday routine and generally helps promote balance in life. I have been humbled and inspired by the volunteers I’ve had the honor of meeting at the GBF who passionately and energetically serve others and do good. They endeavor with unruffled fortitude capable of shouldering the most cumbersome tasks and remain models of the most exemplary resilience. It’s rather refreshing to see my friends at the GBF fulfill the highest altruistic expression of themselves. There is comfort in knowing that I will remember each day and every moment I spend with them.