Volunteering is a way of life for the Green family.
And when Jane Green's daughter Shelley became the executive director of the Alzheimer Society, she didn't hesitate before jumping in to help the organization as a volunteer.
"We just like to give of ourselves. We’re givers and we like to contribute to society in that way," said Jane.
One of her main roles is to keep the gardens at 575 Peel St. looking bright and beautiful.
She's one of two volunteer gardeners.
"It’s a very good place to volunteer. When I’m out doing the gardening, all the employees that walk by say ‘Can I get you some water? Do you need anything?’ I bring my own drink and I’m just fine, but they always say ‘oh, thanks for doing this. It looks so good,'" Jane said.
Usually she tends to the gardens once a week, plus additional hours in the spring and fall for planting and cleanup.
"If there’s anything special coming up, I’ll go and tweak everything. Make sure the dandelions are picked off – that’s a full time job right there," she joked.
Jane prepares the flower beds, buys the flowers, and coordinates the planting, but there are a myriad of other little tasks that come with the gardening role.
She works hard to keep the Alzheimer Society's landscaping free of garbage, cigarette butts and any animal surprises. Keeping the weeds at bay - especially between the memorial bricks - is another focus.
"That’s a tedious job, but that’s very important, to respect the names of the people who are there on the bricks," Jane said.
She enjoys the time spent in the sunshine.
"I like being outdoors and I get to pet the dogs that go by," she said with a chuckle.
Jane also volunteers with the Alzheimer Society in other ways. She often bakes goodies or serves at receptions, like the open house for the new building, and takes charge of flower arrangements for special events.
"I’m just a general helper. Sometimes if I’m going to Costco or someplace, Shelley will say ‘can you shop for Alzheimer’s?” I pick up coffee and cream and those sorts of things," Jane said, noting that's more of an occasional role.
"Just kind of a general Girl Friday," she said. "If they need me they know I'm available."
She hopes that more people might consider dedicating a few hours a week to an organization like the Alzheimer Society.
"There are many different kinds of roles that can be done," Jane said.
She believes in the power of volunteering.
"Without volunteers, I don’t know where a lot of organizations would be," Jane said.
"It makes you feel like you’re contributing to society, that’s an important thing I think. We get a lot of benefits in this country, so it’s nice to be able to give back a wee bit."