"I am proud to say Fort McMurray is my home"
Harvey Tulk has been a blessing to this community in more ways than we can thank him for. Since April 14th, he has volunteered 150+ hours of his own time to assist in anyway he can with multiple organizations and re-entry services. We at FuseSocial, through WBVolunteers.ca, would like to showcase this great guy and help you get to know him a little better!
“First, let me say that I am proud to say Fort McMurray is my home. My wife, who is from Wabush –Labrador said the first time we flew in to the Fort McMurray airport that, ‘This reminds me of home,’ and we have felt comfortable and at home ever since. I love the people and the endless opportunities that this city offers.”
I even love the winters.
While Harvey loves Fort McMurray, he still reminisces about the past;
“I do miss the hard rains and ocean back in Newfoundland, where I would enjoy looking out the window and reading a good book. But the snow here is much easier to shovel!”
At sixty-three years old, Harvey remains an avid contributor to the community.
“I have one son, daughter-in-law and one granddaughter named Abby and have been married for forty years (to the same woman hahaha). I grew up in Fortune on the Burin Penisula in Newfoundland and first started volunteering when I was elected as President of the Junior Red Cross in Grade Seven. From grade 7 to grade 11 , I was always involved in the School Student Council, serving as President from grade 9 -11 . Later in life I also served as a School Trustee, holding down executive roles for over 20 years.”
I grew up in a typical Newfoundland community environment, where wherever help was needed you just stepped up to the plate.
Aside from having served as Shop Steward and Executive member of the Labor Movement Union, Harvey has been involved in the Church, Royal Canadian Legion, Freemasons, and even ran as a candidate for the Provincial NDP. His involvement in local politics included terms for Town Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor for 14+years.
Harvey’s motivation to help out in the community is driven by his big heart and altruistic initiative to help out wherever he can;
“I love to help people . It makes me feel good to see people feel good. There is no better feeling in the world than to see someone smile because you helped them. I also get enjoyment and personal peace by helping others. I have been very fortunate in life and it is a great joy to give back. My wife volunteers with me when she can, and my son Danny who is VP of Westwood High School and is a very talented musician and singer is also very involved in the community.”
Harvey also elaborates on the effect volunteering has on the community and why more good Samaritans getting involved will have an impact on us all:
“The impact of volunteering in the community is very positive. Many times we do not realize how grateful and appreciative people are to be helped. We all need help sometime or another. It is very rewarding for me. Keeps me busy and connected. The majority of people who volunteer are there because they want to be there and enjoy it and find it rewarding. It is good for the soul to interact, socialize and make friends with these types of people. I am also fortunate to work for the best company in the world (Shell Canada Energy). Shell gives me the support and encouragement to do volunteer work both at work and in the community.”
Through his countless hours helping those in need, Harvey has racked up some life changing experiences that come from places you may least expect;
“There is no one experience that comes to mind, other than how proud I am of Canadians and the world stepping up to help during the wildfire. Yet there are two stories I would like to share. During the wildfire evacuation, my family and I were staying in a hotel in Edmonton. One day as I was out doing my daily walk , I happened to come across a homeless man looking for some money. I gave him five dollars. Like most homeless people he was very polite and thankful. Anyway , we continued to chat , and I told him I was from Fort McMurray. He immediately expressed how sorry he was and handed me back the five dollars . I said no, keep it , I can afford it. No, No he said, you need it more than I. He was so persistent that I took the money back.”
To see the joy in his eyes and how he felt that he was helping someone in need brought tears to my eyes.
“I have had numerous people come up to me and say Thank You for volunteering . I see you everywhere volunteering . It does my heart good to hear that and more often than not , that person will do their own volunteering when called upon. These types of experiences inspire me to continue volunteering.”