The John Volken Story
John Volken came to Canada in 1960 at the age of 18 and got his first job on a cauliflower farm. At age 71, he is still working, although officially retired. Volken is best recognized for winning Entrepreneur of the Year for Canada’s Pacific Region in 1995. This was for his success into changing the “United Buy & Sell Service” into “United Furniture Warehouse”, which grew into one of the largest retail furniture chains in North America. Volken was born in Potsdam, a city that became part of communist East Germany. His father was a medical doctor, who died near the end of the Second World War, when John was only 3 years old. In 2003, at the age of 62, John started to persue his new career as a social entrepreneur by establishing a the “The John Volken Foundation” with approximately $100 million of his profits. The main website is http://www.johnvolkenfoundation. org. Volken established two facilities, called “The WelcomeHome Program,” one in Seattle, Washington and one in Vancouver, BC. The Welcome Home facilities are long-term residential treatment facilities for men who are determined to overcome their drug or alcohol addition. The current websie is http:// www.whrecovery.org/ A second charitable organization, funded by the John Volken Foundation is “Lift the Children”, which supports destitute and needy orphanages in Africa. They can be found at http:// www.liftthechildren.org. John himself took a trip to Africa to search for the “poorest of the poor” and he found a way to help them. Volken does this because of his Christian beliefs and the verse from Mathew: “Inasmuch as you have done for the least of My brothers, you have done it unto Me.” Readers of Westcoast German News are encouraged to find out more information on the three websites or to get involved in the charities, if they feel that this is something they want to do.
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