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Stella's Place Blog

Meet Liz, Our Database & Repair Cafe Volunteer

by | Apr 19, 2020

Tribute to Chester Bennington of American Rock band Linkin Park where fan wrote RIP Chester in white tribute board

It’s National Volunteer Week and the theme for this year’s campaign is #CheersToVolunteers! Join us in celebrating our wonderful volunteers who all deserve applause for all their dedication, generosity and immense contributions.


Clear head, Open heart, Clean Data: meet volunteer Liz McGroarty

Liz McGroarty has been volunteering for Stella’s Place since 2018, initially with her daughters and larger family, helping out at events such as the annual 5k Yorkville Run and other fundraisers for Stella’s Place. Since last September, she is a regular face at 18 Camden Street, assisting the Development team to keep our records straight with data entry and database administration. “I’ve always loved working on computers; it doesn’t frighten me. It’s a matter of having the courage to explore and using the ‘help’ button if necessary,” says Liz. “Math used to be my favourite subject in school – solving the math puzzles perhaps taught me the patience that is required to keep learning and trying.”

What’s at the heart of such dedication, tackling the endless lists and spreadsheets week after week? “My volunteering at Stella’s Place comes as a result of a loss to death by suicide in 2017 of a dear lively and loved granddaughter,” says Liz. “My granddaughter was not able to get the help she needed but we believe that she would still be here with us if she had connected with Stella’s Place in time.”

Liz is inspired by our founder, Donna Green, and thankful for her generosity, initiative and drive to help young adults who are struggling here in Toronto and all over the country. “She didn’t stop with just getting help for Stella, but carried on getting help for other youth with mental health issues,” elaborates Liz.

Volunteering is Liz’ way of contributing to the cause: ”I like that I’m able to be generous this way; I don’t have a lot of money to donate. What I have to donate is time and perhaps some talent.  I also like the feeling of being needed and I get a lot of thanks, which is very gratifying.”

Now that our Camden Street location is temporarily closed, Liz is keeping herself busy by sewing face masks and gowns for a Repair Café initiative where she is also a regular volunteer. “I never shied away from volunteering and there is so much to do right now!”

“Keeping in touch more often with family by phone takes some time too,” says Liz. “I really consider this as one of the most difficult times we’ve all been through and am grateful for the support of my family and friends. It helps to try to look on this time as a gift for exploration of answers to the many questions we’ve wondered about. As a retired nurse, I am exploring all that I can about the virus and how we can keep each other safe and healthy, because this may not be the one and only bad virus we face in our lifetimes. We should strive to be well and happy.”

During Covid-19, we are supporting and growing our community virtually. We continue to serve all of our community members and have increased hours for our secure mobile chat application, BeanBagChat to assist more people. Please help us meet growing demand here.


Currently, Stella’s Place does not have a formal volunteer program. We do, however, accept volunteers with specialized skills to support our operations as needed. Keep an eye out on our Careers Page for future opportunities.

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