While Peter Rozeluk will be retiring as Executive Director of Mission Services of London (MSL) in just over one week, his impact on the organization will far outlast his tenure.
Looking back to one of Peter’s first days as Executive Director in 2010, he visited several elementary schools to learn how MSL could best help the students. In conversation with school staff, he learned that their greatest need was in fact socks. “There were children going to school in London Ontario without socks. In some respects, it was a sobering answer because it really speaks to the poverty we had and continue to have in the city,” he says. “The issues, that I was probably unaware of to the extent I am today, have not gone away. They’ve grown larger”.
Feeling compelled to help beyond his leadership as Executive Director, Peter has regularly donated to MSL. A couple of years ago, he even decided to leave a legacy gift by including a bequest to the organization in his will. “If I had not become a legacy donor then, I’d certainly be more compelled to become one today,” he states. “Having been confronted with the need and seeing the good work that is being done by Mission Services, I don’t see how I could not become a legacy donor”.
Providing socks and winter wear to school children through the Mission Store is just one example of the good work being done through MSL. “I know that on a daily basis, men are coming through Men’s Mission and getting help to find housing. I know that every single day, our Community Mental Health Programs staff are helping people navigate life and social services,” Peter declares. “The addiction treatment program, Quintin Warner House, literally changes people’s worlds. I also think of Rotholme Family Shelter as I’ve spoken to families who have stayed at the shelter, and I’ve seen the letters of thanks they’ve written. At a time when they needed a safe place to land, Rotholme provided a safe harbour”.
When it comes to giving, Peter finds inspiration from a song titled Do Something by Matthew West.
“The lyrics that really drove me and supported my decision are:
I woke up this morning, saw a world full of trouble now…
I turned my eyes to Heaven…
I shook my fist at Heaven, said, ‘God, why don’t you do something?’
He said, ‘I did, yeah, I created you’…
Oh, it’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something
Giving is one of the ways I can actually do something”.
For Peter, becoming a legacy donor is also an expression of his faith. “It’s not necessarily my money. I have to become a steward to use the money that I have been able and blessed to earn”. Ultimately, it is a way for him to continue supporting an organization that is helping his neighbours through the crises and daily struggles he has witnessed over his tenure with MSL.
“I’ve often said that we can’t change the world for everyone, but we can change one person’s world so this is my small, small attempt at changing one person’s world”.