Happy National Volunteer Week

Happy National Volunteer Week

Congratulations to all the volunteers in the community – whether formal or informal – you make our community better every single day and we appreciate all you do!

Meet Ruba Qumi, the amazing Central Okanagan Family Hub Coordinator, who started as a volunteer for KCR Community Resources because she believed so strongly in the difference that KCR and The Family Hub make in the lives of families. Ruba is sharing her story to encourage others to volunteer at the Hub and to be a part of the team that provides a safe, family-focused space where both kids and their parents can thrive.

Ruba was born and raised in from Turkey Jordan, the land of earth-shattering landscapes and the mesmerizing Dead Sea. Ruba has lived on three Continents so far: Asia (Jordan), Africa (Namibia) and North America (Canada) and has a Masters in Environmental Sciences and Management. Ruba and her husband Sam Belete, a local realtor, have two sons, grade three and five.

“What initially attracted me to KCR was that when my husband visited Kelowna (we were still living in Namibia), he met a settlement worker form KCR and they exchanged several emails” Ruba explains, sharing that husband Sam had come here to explore the possibility of the family moving to the Okanagan. “After exploring KCR’s website, I felt strongly about wanting to work there.”

“Upon our move to Kelowna, KCR provided invaluable assistance to my family in settling in and securing employment,” continues Ruba. “Attending their workshops enriched my knowledge, prompting me to begin volunteering.”

“At the onset of the pandemic, I volunteered with the Family Hub,” shares Ruba. “It was my first year as a newcomer to Canada, while my husband juggled both studying and working. With the responsibility of caring for our two young boys, I often grappled with feelings of fear, isolation, and concern, especially for distant family members. My volunteering experience at the Hub became a turning point for me. Meeting with the Hub Coordinators at parks allowed me to explore and appreciate the beauty of Kelowna, while also forging connections with other families.”

“Through extending support to them, I discovered a profound sense of purpose and belonging,” explains Ruba. “It proved to be a source of solace and strength during challenging times. For me, volunteering is a journey of self-discovery and continuous improvement … and finding true happiness.

For Ruba the Family Hub is more than a service provider – it’s a welcoming second home for families.

“Here, meaningful friendships are established, and bridges of cultural awareness and understanding are built,” enthuses Ruba. “Families from diverse cultures, backgrounds, races, and religions come together, befriend one another, and offer mutual support. It’s a place where connections are formed and where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”

“We believe that by creating a supportive community where families can connect with one another, share experiences, and receive support, we can strengthen the fabric of our society and promote well-being for all,” adds Ruba. “The Hub is a happy place where the innocence of little toddlers, the resilience of families, and true positive transformations are witnessed. It’s a testament to the power of community and the profound impact that support and connection can have on individuals and families alike.”

Ruba is currently recruiting volunteers to be a part of building that support and connection. Volunteers are essential to the success of the Family Hub as their dedication, enthusiasm, and willingness to give their time makes a tangible difference in the lives of families they serve. Without volunteer support, Ruba indicates that they would not be able to provide the comprehensive assistance and resources that families rely on to thrive.

“Most volunteer opportunities are in-person, allowing volunteers to directly engage with families and provide hands-on support,” says Ruba. “We offer diverse volunteer opportunities to suit different preferences and skill sets. Whether individuals are looking for short-term commitments, flexible scheduling, or opportunities to directly engage with families, there are options available to get involved and make a meaningful impact in our community.”

To connect with Ruba and the Family Hub, email info@cofh.ca or call 250 826-6264.

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