Saturday, June 6, 2015

The people in your neighborhood - volunteer Michael Parker

Michael Parker at The Junction
Michael Parker (14) is a grade 9 Matthew Halton School student and Beaver Mines area resident who has been volunteering at the local food bank "for close to a year".  His mother Jean began volunteering at the food bank, 'The Junction', which is managed by McMan Agency, and Michael decided to join in.   "Now I work here every Friday, and three days a week in the summer." He volunteers for three hours on Fridays. "I take boxes, take them in and sort them out.  If there's not much to do, I go on the shelves and sort everything, clean up back there."

"I keep myself busy, and I kind of like helping other people get what they need."

Michael is thinking of getting a paying job soon.  At home he helps take care of the chickens and other farm work on his family's acreage.  "I would like to work at Grumpy's Greenhouse."  He can be assured a recommendation from McMan's Sue Kuftinoff and Anne Gover.  "He is a very hard worker," said Kuftinoff.  "He's always so polite and friendly," said Gover.

Michael is an adopted child.  He grew up in Edmonton, where he was in multiple foster homes and group homes. "I did 14 houses, I was in a group home for three years... I was adopted maybe a week or two after I turned 11, so I've been here about three years."

"I had no friends, until I got here."

"Altogether I have three sisters and two brothers."

Spending so much of his young life being moved from situation to situation wasn't easy for him. "I didn't really trust anybody, because they just let me down,"   Michael explained, saying he still struggles with trust issues and has empathy for others in difficult situations.

In addition to the chickens that are on Parker acreage, Michael has a cockatoo, and the family has five dogs; a Wheaten Terrier, a Bichon Shih Tzu, a Chihuahua, a Pomeranian, and a Pomeranian cross.   He enjoys drawing and artwork.

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