By Annette P. Gomes Warrior Care and TransitionSeptember 27, 2017
TORONTO -- Teresa Chorneawski is currently logging 22,000 Fitbit steps a day, twice the amount recommended by the American Heart Association. She has a good reason for accumulating those steps. Born in Canada of Ukrainian descent, she is a hospitality volunteer with the Invictus Games Family and Friends.
"Listen, this was a no brainer, I've spent more than 20 years in the hospitality business. I spent many years feeding orphans in the Ukraine. I understand the importance of helping those in need. Watching them come in the hotel and some do not have limbs and they're competing in these sports. It's very emotional. I know six people from the Ukraine that paid their own way to help," Chorneawski said.
From hospitality to administrative, 1,800 volunteers from around the world are on hand to help in Toronto for the 2017 Games.
"We sent out an inquiry from all over the world, from Texas to the Australia and literally 6,000 peopled responded and it shut down the portal. It was definitely a good problem to have," laughed Shawn Thompson, Coordinator, Toronto Military Family Resource Centre.
Thompson said Volunteerism was based on many factors ranging from availability to capability.
Lucy Occleshaw flew in from the United Kingdom. She has a personal reason for volunteering.
"My father was in the Royal Air Force and I volunteer for a lot of charities back home. I understand depression, mental health issues and anxiety just like many of the issues our military men and women has, "Occleshaw said. "Everyone decides what's important to them, for me, it's about giving back," she continued.
The Games ends September 30; 550 competitors from 17 countries are competing in 12 sports, including track, field events and swimming
Chorneawski sums up the experience by saying, "these military men and women have given us so much so, it's only fitting that we give back, and it is really profound."