trish-pennyThere is a wonderful quotation that says: “Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time, they just have the heart”. At Threads of Life, we certainly know this to be true. Threads of Life exists today because of volunteers giving of themselves with all their heart.  A shining example of this can be found in Trish Penny.

Trish first learned of Threads of Life after her big brother, Luke, died. Luke was part of a construction crew working on the foundation of a garage. The trench he was working in collapsed, causing a concrete wall to fall on top of him. Trish and her family learned about the Steps for Life walk and Threads of Life, through a friend of Luke’s. Trish says “we decided to go for it and ended up having a full team. We fundraised and really surprised ourselves with the amount of support we received. After the walk, we decided to attend a Family Forum and the rest is history”.

Trish decided to start volunteering for Threads of Life in 2014, and soon after, she trained to become a member of the Speaker’s Bureau. As a volunteer with the Speaker’s Bureau, Trish willingly and bravely shares with others the story of Luke’s death, and the impact that it had on her and her family. She does this to raise awareness of the importance of injury prevention, and the devastating effects of a workplace fatality.

While Trish has delivered many presentations, one in particular stands out in her mind. “My favourite memory of my volunteer work was travelling to Nalcor Energy in Churchill Falls, Labrador. The travelling alone was amazing! A couple of plane rides to get there, finished off with an hour long helicopter ride! The location was unbelievable. A tiny company-owned town with no more than 300 people who live and work for Nalcor. The hospitality was second to none as I was invited into the homes and lives of the organizer.”

Trish has a number of reasons for volunteering for Threads of Life. “I volunteer for Threads of Life because it provides the forum for me to speak about what I’m truly passionate about. It allows me to network with amazing people both internally and those we volunteer for. This has helped me develop my own personal and professional skills of public speaking, networking, and getting over my introverted ways!”

Trish is so passionate about health and safety, she chose to make a career of it and now works as a health and safety representative for a global engineering and professional services firm.

It takes an infinite amount of heart and courage to speak publicly about a tragedy in the hopes that others may learn from it, be inspired by it, and perhaps even change their behaviour because of it. Trish’s courage and heart is evident in every presentation.

This article originally appeared in the Winter 2016 edition of Threads of Life’s newsletter, Threads. To subscribe to the print or online edition of our newsletter, sign up here.

Lorna Catrambone
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