Veronica, left, stands with Threads of Life family member and volunteer Lynda Kolly at Steps for Life Winnipeg

Veronica Suszynski is a portfolio leader at SAFE Work Manitoba in the Support Services Portfolio, which provides service to all Manitoba employers in the areas of occupational hygiene, musculoskeletal injuries and preventing young worker injuries.

Veronica is currently chair of the Winnipeg committee and she is one of Steps for Life’s longest-serving volunteers — 10 years!

How did you first come to know about Threads of Life?

I started working at SAFE Work Manitoba in 2010 and it was that connection that helped me find Threads of Life. One of the colleagues was a volunteer and so I was brought out to one of the meetings. But, I had not heard of Threads of Life prior to this.

Tell me about your experiences in Threads of Life.

It started with the walk and then I volunteered with the committee. I want to mention that we have the best committee! We have the same dedicated group show up every year to put on a successful event. I have come to rely on them to get everything done and they never fail in this task!

I became so dedicated to the organization after I attended the Saskatoon Family Forum in 2014. I felt so fortunate. It was impactful; I learned just how many people Threads of Life helps.

Why do you volunteer for Threads of Life?

It’s twofold. I am a health and safety professional, so I can give back directly to the community and help increase awareness of illness, injury, or fatality. The other side is the personal connections that I can build with family, friends, and co-workers.

Meeting these people and talking to them, being able to help them even in a small way is great to see. I love the sea of yellow we can create but the monetary value in raising funds for those going through something terrible like workplace tragedy is just as great.

What’s your favourite memory about your work as a volunteer?

One of the walks that stood out to me was in 2011. There was rain that turned into ice and my committee showed up Sunday morning and we quickly had to cancel the event. We tried to contact people so they would not come and rescheduled the event for the next week. It was unbelievable but it was great that everyone responded so quickly.

From that experience, we learned that it is important to have a back up plan. I mean the next year there was a flood threat so there were many questions about, “okay what now?” Even in 2020 with the pandemic we had to cancel the walk and did it online instead. There was participation but it was quick of us to pivot like that.

What other community/volunteering do you do?

I volunteer with the Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association and it is a therapeutic riding program for children with disabilities. I am a sidewalker so that means I am with the child or I am leading the horse. So, I do that and support Threads of Life.

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