Moe Alabour has been a passionate and important volunteer at Fort Edmonton Park for four years now, but it was when his aide Ruben Hofsink joined him earlier this year that volunteering really took on a new meaning. The pair have been key team members, cultivating the beautiful Heritage Gardens, in addition to helping out at most special events in a diversity of activities from crafts to greeting.
Moe has always believed that volunteering is a great way to give back and contribute to his community, but also to grow as a person. Ruben has been excited to be part of this journey too, and believes “volunteer work is a good opportunity for anyone to find a sense of belonging and importance. [Fort Edmonton Park has] an atmosphere that is accepting of anybody who joins”. We asked Moe and Rubin to tell us about their volunteer experience at the Park. Here’s what they had to say:
Why do you volunteer at Fort Edmonton Park?
Moe: Because volunteering at Fort Edmonton Park helps build bridges and relationships with people and will also look good on a resume for my future job.
Ruben: I volunteer here because of Moe, but have stayed here because I love to be outside and Fort Edmonton Park is a great way to get away from the business of the city.
How did you first get started as a volunteer?
Moe: I found out about this opportunity from good friends and the internet.
Ruben: I hadn’t volunteered with any organization before I met Moe. Moe said that Fort Edmonton Park was a fun place to volunteer so we come back as often as we can.
Are there any favourite moments or funny stories that stand out from your experience?
Moe: My favourite memories are all the special events such as Christmas, Easter and Halloween where I get to help kids with activities.
Ruben: When we were watering the garden it was funny how the manual water pump entertained kids. I didn’t end up having to pump at all because two 5-year-olds loved to pump and also loved to splash each other with the water.
How has volunteering helped you bond as friends?
Moe: Understanding what subjects we both enjoy and giving each other fun facts as well as working hard together makes a good relationship with each other.
Ruben: Spending time together in the gardens and at special events has made me learn how much Moe cares about doing the job right. Volunteering with Moe has helped me learn to be a more caring person and have more respect for the people behind the scenes.
Why do you believe it is important to share Edmonton’s history?
Moe: Because the new generations need to know about how Edmonton started from a small fort to tent town and eventually grew into a thriving city.
Ruben: I think it’s important to remember where this town came from and the hard work it took to make a living in this country. By learning about Edmonton’s history one more appreciates what this town has become.
Come and meet Ruben and Moe in our gardens as they help prepare for the Harvest Fair!