By Becky Benoit
Boston Pizza has always done fundraisers – nearly everyone who has visited the restaurant aroundValentine’s Day has seen the paper hearts which cover the walls, or enjoyed a heart-shaped pizza. But sinceJessica Musycsyn has come onboard as community relations coordinator at the restaurant chain, she’s takenfundraising to a whole new level. Thanks to her efforts, sales at both store locations in Fort McMurray have recorded double-digit growth, and worthy organizations such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the FortMcMurray SPCA have received thousands of dollars in much-needed donations.
In fact, Musycsyn has been so successful in her role that she placed sixth out of the top ten community relations coordinators with Boston Pizza International. For Musycsyn, volunteering has been a way of life since early childhood.
“My mother used to take me along with her when she would volunteer her time at country fairs and community events back in Nova Scotia. I suppose I was unknowingly volunteering my own time, but it always felt more like fun that work,” recalls Musycsyn. “My mother instilled the value of volunteering in me and I continued to find ways to lend a helping hand without giving much thought to it.”
Outside of her day job at Boston Pizza, Musycsyn is an active community volunteer, giving her time to anumber of worthy organizations including the SPCA, the CIBC Run for the Cure Committee and Big BrothersBig Sisters of Wood Buffalo.
“With dozens of nonprofit organizations in need of volunteers here in Fort McMurray, it was tough to choose which to volunteer with. I chose organizations my values align with and that I felt I could contribute most to,” Musycsyn explains of how she divides her volunteer time.
She says anyone can volunteer – the key is to not be discouraged if you only have a small amount of time togive. “Unfortunately, the misconception that volunteering has to be a ‘big’ commitment deters a lot of FortMcMurrayites from even considering the notion,” she says. “The reality is that whether it’s a couple of hours a week or once a year, there are lots of organizations in Fort McMurray that are in need of volunteers. Organizations like Volunteer Wood Buffalo can assist in finding the right fit for anyone interested in volunteering.”
Musycasyn came to Fort McMurray from Toronto “on a whim,” she says, and found more than just a place towork; she found a community to call home. “Looking back, it was the best decision I ever made,” she says. “Like most people who come to Fort McMurray, I hadn’t planned on staying. Now, Fort McMurray is home”