Part of Something Bigger


“Back off guys—she’s with HeroWork.”

It was an incredible reaction that Stephanie Deakin, a Re-Design Lead for HeroWork,  witnessed as she reached her car in a Victoria neighbourhood where one of the charities that HeroWork has worked with is situated.

A group of young people had been following her. It wasn’t clear what their motive was, and so an unsettling feeling came over her. As she got to her car, one of the women in the group saw the HeroWork bumper sticker and called them off. Just like that!

In an instant of seeing that she was a member of HeroWork, it was understood that she was part of something bigger than herself. They saw that she cared, and that they were considered people who mattered. And unlike the average bumper sticker, that HeroWork decal told a different story. It suggested that she saw borders as arbitrary when it came to the value of people who were in need. It didn’t matter where she was from, nor did it matter for anyone else.

Stephanie Deakin, owner of RE:ORGANIZED! Professional Organizing Services, standing by her car adorned with a HeroWork Official Sponsor decal.

In tougher neighbourhoods, to exist and subsist is a kind of struggle that many of us cannot fathom. It’s a matter of survival to protect themselves in their daily strive to make a living. As a result, what at first glance appears to be an outsider can elicit a defensive response. It’s easy for many of these people to slip between the cracks, and, having not been dealt the same cards in life as those more fortunate, they can feel as though they are being edged out of what little they may have.

“I was like wow, that was incredible!” said Stephanie, owner of RE:ORGANIZED! Professional Organizing Services. “Then I started to realize how the work we were doing was being talked about by the people who live in these communities. It was a really cool moment and it showed how these people were seeing the positive effects of HeroWork’s efforts and feeling like they mattered. Not only that, but they were in a sense accepting us as a part of their community.”

Participating in charitable work really seems to be the link that bridges the gap between different people and groups within society. It’s through committing a selfless act that we open up ourselves to the acceptance of and partnership with others. It’s so easy to think of neighbourhoods as boundaries—as places that define us. In deeper reflection, it becomes evident that these boundaries are arbitrary and superficial—that every person is merely trying to make a go in life as best they can, just like you, no matter where they live. Community as a whole is what matters most.

It certainly seems, too, that HeroWork is becoming increasingly known throughout the Victoria community. “Recognition of HeroWork definitely seems to be growing.” Says Stephanie. “I was at a business mixer recently, and the speaker asked whose car had the HeroWork bumper sticker. I raised my hand and he gave me a thumbs up.”

It‘s hugely gratifying to be able to offer your skills and efforts towards a charitable cause, and through HeroWork there is a definitive sense of community stewardship and a feeling of belonging to something bigger than oneself.

Robin Rushton, an acquaintance of Stephanie, approached her one day and said, “I’ve been seeing those HeroWork bumper stickers all over town and I’m going to find out what it’s about!” Stephanie ended up telling her about HeroWork’s inspiring efforts and the impact it was having on the community. That was all Robin needed to hear and she has since become a volunteer Team Leader!

When asked if there was a personal message that she would like extend to prospective volunteers of HeroWork, Stephanie replied, “It’s an amazing experience, you can’t imagine what it’s like until you’re in it. The community that’s built when we work together is phenomenal. I’ve met wonderful people who will be lifelong friends because we have worked alongside in HeroWork projects. The community that we build is bigger than just the people that are working on site—it’s knowing that we are doing something to make the community that we are living in a better place. There’s nothing I’ve ever done that’s been as gratifying.”

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