Paying it forward is a recurring theme in Samantha Eveleigh’s life.
After suffering a stroke at the age of 18, she resolved to become a nurse so she could help others as she was helped during a year of rehabilitation. Now, she’s giving back — with interest.
The third-year Baccalaureate Nursing student is the 2019 recipient of Red River College’s Richard (Asher) Webb Social Justice Activist Memorial Award, in recognition of her work at Agape Table and North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, and her leadership in engaging friends, family and fellow RRC students in volunteer efforts.
Eveleigh, 27, says the award is particularly gratifying in respect to her work on behalf of Agape Table, where she has volunteered her time for the past two years, and for which she organized two food drives last year.
“I put a lot of volunteer work and a lot of effort into helping that vulnerable population, especially with food insecurity, so it really meant a lot to me,” she says.
“Growing up, I experienced food insecurity. My family was not really well off. They struggled a little bit in that aspect and so we actually had to use services like Agape Table to make ends meet, so to give back to my community really makes it come full circle. Now that I’m in that position, being able to give back is so rewarding.”
Agape Table serves subsidized weekday breakfasts and provides low-cost, nutritional grocery items for low-income and homeless clients. During volunteer shifts spent cleaning, assisting with food preparation or serving meals, Eveleigh saw there was a need for more non-perishable food items, so she decided to do something about it.
Last summer, she approached friends and family to help out, and together, they gathered 200 items. Buoyed by that success, she sought advice from RRC Nursing instructor and curriculum coordinator Tracey Fallak about mounting a holiday food drive at the Notre Dame Campus.
With support from Fallak and other instructors, she encouraged 10 more Nursing students to volunteer at Agape Table and to participate in the drive. Last December, they collected 700 items for Agape, double the original goal of 350. Read More →