Mark Li began his volunteering journey at Distress Centre in October 2020, when he made a strong first impression on our Training Coordinator, Trevor.
“Mark shocked me when I asked a question to the training group and he pulled out a colour coded binder with the answers to my questions,” said Trevor, who is also Mark’s mentor at DC. “It became clear to me that Mark was going to be an incredible asset to the team. Anyone that takes their learning in supporting others that seriously has something special to give.”
Mark immigrated to Canada from China 13 years ago, where he lived in Saskatoon before moving to Calgary. He works as a professional engineer and project manager of Spartan Controls and is the Co-Founder and CEO of Prexeco Inc. He credits them with supporting him through his volunteer journey.
After completing Distress Centre’s virtual volunteer training – we moved our training online in response to the pandemic – Mark was approved to respond to contacts solo by December 2020. He volunteered extensively over the holidays to build his confidence in responding and provide support to people during what was a difficult time for many. The holidays can be difficult for many people – even more so this past year as Alberta had heavy restrictions on gatherings due to the pandemic.
Mark said that he decided to start volunteering at Distress Centre because he wanted to support those who need it most and help to build a better community. He also felt volunteering at DC would help him become a better person.
“I am inspired by what is being done at Distress Centre,” said Mark. “It is incredible.”
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Becoming a volunteer while DC was (and still is) in the midst of pandemic response was an eye-opening experience for Mark. He became more aware of how challenging the pandemic has been. On some of his shifts Mark said more than half the calls* he answered were from people who were experiencing distress related to the pandemic.
“It’s more critical now than any other time for Distress Centre to support people,” he said.
Distress Centre is fortunate that Mark chose to volunteer his time at our agency. He has been described as kind, detail-oriented and hard working and is an asset to have on our lines.
For self-care, Mark loves outdoor sports, hiking, camping, reading and playing chess and piano.
Thank you Mark!
Interested in volunteering? See our volunteer opportunities.
Help us provide compassionate support to those in crisis by making a donation in support of our volunteers:
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*Generally, about 10% of crisis contacts have been related to the pandemic since January 26, 2020.