Volunteering gives Bev McDonald a purpose.
It’s one of the reasons she has spent nearly two decades devoting her time to the Alzheimer Society of Oxford.
“You want to do something fulfilling and you want to give back to your community,” she said.
Ever since she retired, Bev has given her time to the Alzheimer Society of Oxford, beginning as an office volunteer and later becoming a volunteer companion.
Now, about 18 years later, she's returned to her roots and volunteers in the Society office every Friday.
"(It's) a sense of well-being and satisfaction that you’ve made a difference. Even if you’re just doing menial things, you’re helping out someone else on staff that doesn’t have to do it. It frees them up," said Bev.
She does anything and everything that needs to be done, from photocopying to answering the phone to unloading the dishwasher.
"You get to meet some wonderful people," Bev said. "They’re very good to their volunteers. They go out of their way to make volunteers feel appreciated."
Bev grew up in a home that valued giving back. She thinks the desire to volunteer must have been instilled in her as a child.
"I suppose it comes from your family, you know? My mom was a volunteer and my husband’s been involved in the community as well," she said.
Bev volunteered with another local non-profit when her children were young, and she's also involved in volunteering roles at her church.
After seeing the impact of Alzheimer's disease on her grandmother and a close friend, she felt the Alzheimer Society of Oxford would be the perfect place to donate her time.
"Those people have (so much) compassion for their clients and the families. The support is there. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. The Society is a wonderful help," she said.
It's the kind of support that is crucial for those who are walking a journey with dementia.
"I just don’t know where this community would be, the families that are going through what they’re going through, how they would handle it if they didn’t have these resources and the people that care so much there," she said.
The work of staff at the Alzheimer Society is what motivates Bev to spend each Friday working diligently at the office.
"That’s why I do it, just to free them up to do what they need to do."