Joann Wong Bittle – the new chair of the Society’s Chinese Advisory Committee – has been volunteering for over 25 years with varying non-profit organizations. In 2017, a friend suggested that she should consider joining the Society. Although she had no personal connection to dementia, Joann noticed it is still highly stigmatized within the Chinese community. By volunteering, Joann aims to increase awareness and change people’s perceptions, and to encourage more people in the Chinese community to seek help and treatment.
A highly active and engaged person, Joann balances her volunteering with her career as a Financial Advisor, her family and friends, and her passion for fitness. She also enjoys traveling and spending time with her granddaughter, Ellie.
Joann’s involvement with Society has been extensive. She has been a member of the Society's Board of Directors, the Finance and Audit Committee, and a long-standing supportor for the Chinese Advisory Committee through the organization of a partnership with Fairchild Media Group. She was a Co-Chair for the Gala Dinner for Alzheimer’s and the Telethon for Alzheimer’s. Her goal as the advisory committee’s new chair is to increase their activity and recruit more people to get involved, emphasizing that volunteering doesn't require a direct connection to the cause; if you have the skills and the time, you can help the organization.
"I encourage people to volunteer, it's the best way to give back to the community. I invite anyone interested in volunteering or wanting to learn more about the Chinese Advisory Committee to attend a meeting and see what it's all about,” says Joann. Volunteering has provided Joann with more understanding of the toll Alzheimer's can take, and has increased her desire to raise awareness within her community.
With the increasing rates of people living with dementia, there is a huge need for volunteers at the Society. Joann's dedication and passion is inspiring. Her efforts to recruit like-minded individuals to the Chinese Advisory Committee will undoubtedly result in better outreach and increased knowledge within the community.
The Society is extremely grateful to have Joann, and her contributions have been invaluable in helping us raise awareness and support for Alzheimer's disease and dementia in the Chinese community.
If you are interested in joining the wonderful team of volunteers at the Alzheimer Society of B.C., you can find volunteer opportunities here.