Jimi Russell is well known throughout the Niagara community for his continuous volunteer work.
After retiring from General Motors three years ago as a Team Lead and Trainer, Jimi decided to focus a large portion of his time on volunteering for local organizations.
He first heard of Bethlehem Housing & Support Services when he was introduced to our Empty Bowls fundraiser. He decided to volunteer at the 2016 Empty Bowls event and has continued to support Bethlehem ever since.
Volunteering with Bethlehem became personal for Jimi as he grew up in a less fortunate home. He worked hard as a young adult to make a better life for himself, which is when he decided to give back to the community.
Jimi says, “I love working with Bethlehem because everyone here is so professional, helpful and friendly. I truly feel as though my time is valued and appreciated here."
He adds that his volunteer experience with Bethlehem over the last couple years has been interesting, rewarding and fulfilling.
Jimi enjoys volunteering for events and initiatives related to food, wine and music. “I love the atmosphere of everyone working together to make these events happen. I enjoy the sense of community.”
Aside from Bethlehem, Jimi also regularly volunteers for the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, the Niagara Supper Market, Niagara Jazz Festival, Winter Festival of Lights, Toronto Taste – Second Harvest, and much more!
When asked what inspires him to give so much of his time to these causes, Jimi laughs and says, “Energy, enthusiasm and coffee.” He then adds, “When something is a passion it doesn’t feel like work. Volunteering has become my passion.”
He advices those that are recently retired to find a way to help if you have the energy and enthusiasm. “If you volunteer for an event or cause that means something to you, it will leave you feeling satisfied and fulfilled.”