Friday, June 5, 2015

The people in your neighborhood - volunteer Doug Waterson

Doug Waterson at The Junction
Doug Waterson has volunteered at The Junction (Pincher Creek's food bank) for almost a year now, and has put in over 600 hours of service there.   He was walking past the facility one day "and there was a sign in the window saying 'volunteers needed'.  I came in and talked with Sue (Coordinator Sue Kuftinoff), and she said 'Come in tomorrow, and we'll get you set up'."  He originally planned on volunteering one day a week.   "Now it's three days a week, about 20 hours a week I put in."

Waterson has health issues that sidelined from the workforce, after years of working as a cook, but he didn't want to just sit around doing nothing.  He has stasis ulcers, weight issues, compromised balance, chronic pain, and nerve damage.  "I couldn't cook anymore.  The doctor said 'Doug, you're done'."

"I was going crazy sitting in the house."

"I like coming down here, I think it's good for me.  I get to work with a lot of different people. This stimulates me, it gets my adrenalin going.  It's a good cause.  A lot of people need it and it fills a need in the community."

Waterson began his kitchen career in Toronto, then his family bought a cafe in Castlegar which they ran for about five years. His mother is an artist, and his uncle Dave was one of the chief mold makers for Blue Mountain Pottery."  There's lots of artistic stuff in my family.  People used to ask me what I did, and I would say cooking is my art form."  Waterson said that he used to work 60 or more hours in a week, "In my family we were taught you work hard, and men work hard.   So not being able to work was hard on me emotionally."

"My disability made me feel useless, and now there's a purpose to get up and come help people."

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