Robert Emond's Story
Robert Emond, a cancer survivor is a true hero – a Lion, just like the way his friends refer to him. Growing up in Ottawa, volunteering has been the best obsession in Robert’s life and a noble deed that has given him immense satisfaction. From a very young age, Robert’s engagement with community building has been phenomenal and that initial positive feeling has remained to this day.
He fondly remembers the time during The Great Depression, when he volunteered as an Altar Boy for seven days a week at the Sacred Heart Convent in Ottawa and he cherishes the memory, when every morning the nuns served him breakfast after mass, in the Sacristy. During that time, he also volunteered to sell apples on Apple Day. In addition, Robert also volunteered to deliver flyers about community events, in his neighborhood.
Robert joined many clubs and scouts. He also collected money for UNICEF on Halloween at his school. To this day as a community leader, Robert is still involved with many scout clubs and helps them with his expertize and experience.
Robert has been volunteering with the Canadian Cancer Society for more than forty years and continues to serve his community in various capacities. He has dedicated over twenty years to help children suffering from cancer at Camp Trillium. He also works with the Kidney patients at Camp Dorset and holds an Honorary Life Directorship of Camp Dorset.
The list is endless; it seems that volunteering for Robert Emond is a way of life. While some days you might find him helping those having visual impairments at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, other days you can see him welcoming new immigrants at the Citizenship Court in Mississauga. Robert believes that volunteering has helped him to find inner peace, he says, “I fondly remember the self-satisfaction that volunteering gave me for helping friends and neighbours who needed my help to do a number of jobs. There have been times when I went to turn on lights and stoves for Jewish people, who couldn't do it themselves for religious reasons. These small contributions help me understand and appreciate humanity in a much better way.”
Robert’s inspiration in life has been Mohammad Ali, he often recalls the work done by The Greatest, not as the greatest boxer, but as one of the greatest philanthropist. He remembers how the champion believed that "volunteering is the advanced rent for your entry to Heaven".
Just like Mohammad Ali, Robert often says that "we are all brothers in this world". Robert is a role model to the emerging Lions and Lion leaders alike and, a legend in the community he serves. Without any hesitation, any Lion will vouch for his kind heart and positive approach to life.
As a token of our appreciation to the work done by Robert to help build his community Volunteer MBC awarded Robert Emond with the life time achievement award at the V-Oscars. We feel very privileged, honored and grateful that a volunteer extraordinaire like Lion Robert is associated with Volunteer MBC and that his incredible contributions over the years have really helped us to build capacity in Peel.
Written by Faisal Ikram, Coordinator, Marketing and Communications, Volunteer MBC