Kitchener, Waterloo & Cambridge Area

29 Young Street East
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 2L4 (Google Map)
Telephone: 519-603-0223
Fax: 519-888-6422

Wellington, Dufferin & Guelph Area

176 Wyndham Street North
Guelph, Ontario N1H 8N9 (Google Map)
Telephone: 877-351-9857
Fax: 519-888-6422


Meet Natasha!

If you’ve spent any time around Sanguen’s offices in Waterloo or Guelph, you know that our team includes some amazing volunteer outreach workers! In the coming months, we’d like to introduce them to you here on the Sanguen blog.

So far, we’ve profiled Sharon and Johnathan. Now we’d like to introduce you to Natasha – who’s here to tell us why she volunteers with Sanguen.

Natasha and Edie

Hi Natasha! Thanks for sitting down to chat. To start, how long have you been volunteering with Sanguen?

I have been volunteering with Sanguen for about three years now.

Wow, time flies! What do you like to do when you’re not volunteering with us?

I spend the majority of my time with my family and doing schoolwork.

What do you think someone might be surprised to learn about you?

I think people would be surprised to know that I play a lot of video games. People are also quite surprised to learn that my oldest child is 18 years old!

Why is volunteering something that you make time for?

I volunteer because I love being with people and an active member of our community. I hope that I am able to use my lived experience and education to be a support to others!

What made you decide to volunteer with Sanguen specifically?

I decided to volunteer with Sanguen specifically because of my previous experience with Hepatitis C and the gratitude that I have for those who helped me through it. I love the idea of helping people prevent Hep C through harm reduction, education and awareness as well as supporting anyone who needs it.

What motivates you to stay involved with us?

Being able to share in other people’s lives and spread awareness and information about Hep C and harm reduction is what I am most passionate about and that motivates me to stay. I truly enjoy being a part of the Sanguen team and I love having the opportunity to be a part of our community.

Of all the things you do while volunteering for Sanguen, what’s your favourite? Why?

My most favourite thing that I do while volunteering is chatting with people while we are doing outreach! I love hearing about people’s lives and experiences; I find it so interesting to learn about other people and get their perspective on things.

Why is harm reduction important to you?

Harm reduction is important to me because I believe that it was the reason that I was able to create the life for myself that I have today. Without the support, understanding, and respect from the harm reduction approach that I received from ACCKWA over 15 years ago, I do not believe that I would be where I am today.

I also believe that it is important to treat others with dignity and respect, which I think harm reduction does in general. I feel that people who use drugs are just as deserving as those who do not – we are all equal and all deserving of support and respect. We all have our own paths in this life and I do not believe that anyone should be treated any differently just because they live outside society’s norms.

What would you tell someone who’s thinking about volunteering for Sanguen?

I would say, “Go for it, you’ll love it!”

In your opinion, why is outreach an important part of Sanguen’s work?

I think outreach is an important part of Sanguen’s work because it is important that we are a part of our community so we can support people where they are at and so we can spread the word of what Sanguen does.

What do you wish more people knew about Hepatitis C?

I remember a time in my life when I thought that no matter what I did I was bound to get Hep C, but that is just not true. This disease IS preventable and even if you do get it, you can be cured. Hep C does not have to permanent or even harmful.

How do you feel about the people you meet while doing outreach in our community?

I love being with the people I meet in the community. I have found that most people are quite open to what we do and appreciate it. I enjoy being able to spend time with people as a source of support and to get the word out about Hepatitis C and the benefits of harm reduction.

Thanks for talking with us, Natasha! We’re glad you’re part of the team.

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