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Halifax Volunteer Discovers the Transformative Power that comes Through Serving Others

By Rachael Dyal

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I made the move to Halifax solo in February 2023, gearing up for a new job that started later that month. I’m originally from Toronto but decided to pursue grad studies at the University of King’s College in Halifax. It was during my time here that I developed a deep affection for the city. I knew that I wanted to work full-time out here. Fortunately, I was able to snag a run-down apartment right in time before the new job commenced.

Despite the relief of having a roof over my head with the basic amenities like running water and electricity, I often found myself hesitant to invite others over due to the apartment’s small size, and old wooden cupboards. I’d always complain about my living situation, and was never thankful for being able to afford stable housing.


About a few months after moving into the apartment that I dreaded, I was invited by some friends to volunteer for Sunday Suppers. The Halifax Chapter of HOPE worldwide Canada supports this initiative. It aims to feed vulnerable people in the community facing food insecurity. Hesitantly, I agreed. I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt like God was compelling me to volunteer and serve those in need. Not only did I show up and help bag food items for people to take home, but I also served hot meals to people.


Volunteering at Sunday Suppers proved to be a humbling experience. Witnessing firsthand the struggles faced by those less fortunate, I was overcome with a profound sense of gratitude. It was a stark realization that I had been taking for granted the very things others desperately lacked. My continuous habit of complaining despite God’s provision, suddenly felt very selfish.


Rachael Dyal carrying a box of food for Sunday Suppers

But what humbled me the most volunteering for Sunday Suppers that afternoon was seeing young children and teenagers among those who came. Raised in a middle-class household, I never truly appreciated the comforts I was privileged to until I confronted the harsh realities of food insecurity and poverty. My parents would spoil me, and I never had to worry about food, clothing, or shelter. When I saw kids younger than me with their families at Sunday Suppers, my heart ached.


I understand that sharing my experiences might give the impression of being privileged or even boastful, but my intention is quite the opposite. I want to delve into the harsh realities of poverty, offering insights from my own journey as someone who initially struggled to appreciate God’s blessings in my life. I aim through my writing to acknowledge my own shortcomings, embrace growth, and foster understanding and compassion for others' struggles. My hope is that by sharing my story with sincerity and humility, I can contribute to a deeper awareness of the challenges faced by those living in poverty and the importance of cultivating a compassionate outlook.


For those who haven’t volunteered yet, I strongly encourage you to give it a shot. Deuteronomy 15: 11, says to open your hand to those in need, and volunteering at Sunday Suppers is a great way to do that. For me, it served as a wake-up call, prompting me to shift my perspective and begin thanking God for even the small blessings in life.


If you are interested in learning more, or would like to volunteer with us, please reach out to us on:

Facebook: HOPEworldwide Canada - Halifax Chapter

Instagram: @hopewwc_halifax


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