June Evans is the first person you meet when you visit World Vision Canada’s office
When you visit World Vision Canada in Mississauga, Ont., June Evans is the friendly face at the front desk. She also provides the warm voice you hear when you call the switchboard. June is a widow with two sons and fi ve grandchildren. She loves music and dancing, theatre, and nature walks, and has a weakness for high-heeled shoes, all colours.
I understand the month of June is special to you. Yes, and not just for the roses and the other wonderful changes in nature. I was born in June and I was baptized with the name June. On my 10th birthday, I arrived in Canada from Belfast, Northern Ireland, with my parents and my one older sister. I also had a June wedding in the 1960s. June holds many celebrations for me and my family.
How did you come to work at World Vision? I was moving to Brampton and I was hoping to find a part-time job. While driving one afternoon, I spotted World Vision’s building. Led by the Spirit, I quickly pulled into the only available “visitor” parking space. I entered the front lobby, where I was told by the retiring receptionist to apply online. I did. I had an interview and I was hired in July 2004.
How has your faith helped you through life’s challenges? My mother was killed in a car accident and my father died 10 years later in his 87th year. It was heartbreaking to no longer have that valuable parental guidance. I came to realize that life is not all beauty, love and kindness. However, the amazing presence and grace of the Holy Spirit gave me great tranquility and joy, and a greater love for all people. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 1999, I miraculously survived the surgery and treatment, and I knew without a doubt that God had a plan and purpose for my life. Little did I know that I would best serve the Lord at World Vision.
You must have amazing stories from manning the front desk over the years. A number of times, visitors have come inside World Vision looking for an optician. It always turns into a humorous situation. Then, of course, I tell them about the great work that is being done here, and quite often, they make a donation. When I think of the thousands of people whom I have connected with over the last 11 years, the number of walk-in donors has been remarkable. I have received personal cheques as large as $40,000 and individual cash donations in excess of $800. I specially greet and thank the numerous volunteers who faithfully give their time and talent week after week, and I often pray with them. Every day at reception is a beautiful blessing!
What are your future plans? My family and friends sometimes ask when do I plan to retire. I just don’t think about it. I’m in excellent health with loads of energy and I delight in opening the switchboard and reception desk five days a week at 8 a.m. I love the people I see every day. As long as my eyesight and hearing stay intact, and I don’t start to drool [laughs], I want to continue serving the Lord at World Vision.
A version of this article appears in the Summer 2015 issue of Childview.