VIP Brenda Bourgaize
Published Thursday, May 3, 2012 1:52PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 26, 2012 3:56PM MDT
Every month CTV partners up with Volunteer Calgary to bring you stories about outstanding volunteers.
Brenda Bourgaize has a very personal connection to her volunteer position. She started volunteering with the Calgary Military Family Resource Centre in 2007 when she was told her son was going to be deployed to Afghanistan. Brenda says the emotions spilled over and the tears flowed when she felt the warmth and was welcomed with open arms into the MFRC. She says it was family. Brenda feels she could volunteer 24/7 and never give back all that she has gotten from them.
Name: Brenda Bourgaize
Organization: Calgary Military Family Resource Centre
Describe your experience with volunteerism: I volunteered for years with the Alberta Children's Hospital. I had various volunteer positions, and enjoyed each one. However, when my son was deployed I took a hiatus and found the MFRC.
What was your reason/motivation for volunteering with the organization: I did it at first to keep busy while my son was deployed. Then I started volunteering with the day camps with the kids, and they are so much fun. I realized how I had to deal with my son being deployed, but these kids need to have some fun and take their minds off their parents being deployed. I saw it from a different perspective.
How has volunteering impacted your life: I've developed new friendships.
How would you say volunteering has impacted the lives of others: Brenda takes a long pause…she says "I don't know how to answer, I think you would need to ask them". After a little prodding I do get Brenda to admit she is a bit of a "children whisperer". She says the kids faces light up when they see her and she feels she has a special connection with the little ones.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering: being with the kids…Brenda says she does emergency babysitting and gets such pleasure from seeing the joy on the kids faces when they see her.
What do you like about Calgary: I was born in Calgary and even though it's changed so much, I feel we have our arms open to newcomers. Brenda says the military is very transient and from what she has heard the Calgary MFRC is one of the best in Canada.
Which famous person would you like to meet, or have you met: Brenda says General Hillier is at the top of her list. She had the opportunity to meet and chat with him at an event, and she will never forget the impact he had on her. She also says her Dad is a World War II Vet, and is such a big part of her life, and her sons' life. She enjoys hearing her Dad tell her son stories. Brenda wants to add how proud she is of her son Mike. She admires him so much, and wants to add that she has such respect for all of our military and what they sacrifice for us and our country.
She does admit on the lighter side of life she does like Kevin Bacon and IndyCar drive James Hinchcliffe!