An interview with Erlinda: 10 questions for one awesome volunteer

We are so grateful to all the people who volunteer for True Patriot Love, keep our events running smoothly and generously share their time, skills and enthusiasm!

As part of a new feature celebrating those fab folks, True Patriot Love asked our volunteer Erlinda 10 questions about why she volunteers, who inspires her, and what her happy place is. Keep reading to see her great replies!  And if you would like to join our amazing group of volunteers, send an email to to get started.

Was there someone in your life taught you that volunteering is important, like a parent, relative, or teacher?

I believe it was put on my heart to do this, and I was blessed to be given some wonderful people put in my path who influenced me just by my witnessing their own sense of serving and giving back. I can’t name just one particular person who showed me the importance of volunteering – there have been more than a few: my childhood best friend, my church community and some work colleagues.

What volunteer activities have you done with True Patriot Love?

I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer in several True Patriot Love Heroes Invitational and Tribute Dinner events. As well, I was fortunate enough to be part of the first Annual Warriors’ Cup in Toronto, and recently the Captain Nicola Goddard Women in Leadership Series.  I am also looking forward to attending the upcoming Volunteer Appreciation Event.

How long have you been volunteering for True Patriot Love?

This year marks my third year as a volunteer.  My first event in September 2021 was a memorable one: the coordinators involved in that event had to navigate COVID restrictions and particular safety protocols at the time.

What about True Patriot Love’s work or mission is meaningful to you?

I think the most meaningful part of True Patriot Love’s mission to me is seeing firsthand the real-life, positive impact of their work. Seeing the profound effect they have and are continuing to have for the Canadian military community and their families through the programs they offer or help support. When I had the privilege of having someone who’s served speak to me about the healing that has taken place in more ways than one, it just warms my heart. Seeing someone come out on the other end of something feeling so hopeful for their future and the possibilities is indescribable.

What has been your favourite part of being a volunteer so far?

It has to be the people! Getting to meet and get to know more and more about the individuals that make up True Patriot Love. For most of them I’ve met, True Patriot Love has a personal meaning for them and it’s evident when you see their whole heart going into everything they do. It’s also feeling so warmly welcomed right from the beginning by everyone on the team and feeling that, even in the most modest capacity that I’m involved, it contributes to something bigger.

Apart from True Patriot Love, where else do you volunteer?

I’m a proud volunteer with a non-profit national children’s charity, Dreams Take Flight. It’s a 100-percent volunteer-based charity that was first started by a handful of Air Canada employees 35 years ago. There are eight chapters across Canada and I am part of the founding chapter in Toronto.   Our mission is to bring as many deserving children facing the greater challenges in life as we can on a magical once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disney World for the day.

What book do you think everyone should read?

The Shack by William Paul Young. It’s a beautiful story about love, forgiveness, understanding, judgement and everything in between. It will have you feeling so many emotions. You’ll cry tears of both joy and sadness.

What song makes you feel happy and energized?

Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic – I think it’s the ultimate Swagger Anthem! You cannot listen to this song and NOT feel like solid gold.

Do you have a hero, or someone who inspires you?

Oh, that’s going to be tough, because truly I’ve been blessed with a lot of amazing people. One would be my childhood best friend Joy. She is one of the kindest, most loving and giving (in more ways than one) people I have ever met. Someone who is no longer here would be a man from my church, Michael. He was so disarming and instantly your walls would come completely down if you spent any time with him. He had such a heart for people and truly cared about everyone being healed, whole and free from anything weighing them down. He always chose and saw the gold in everyone. Their strength is so inspiring. Both these individuals inspire me to try the best that I can to spread some light and love in the world. These relationships are so incredibly valuable to me.

Where or what is your happy place?

Anywhere that involves me boarding an airplane to see another part of the world! If it also happens to involve adventuring with family or cherished loved one when I’m doing it then I’m even happier.

Want even more volunteering opportunities? True Patriot Love has launched its Veteran Volunteerism Initiative with a mission to connect Veteran volunteers to organizations across Canada that need the skills, expertise and drive to serve that they possess.