Why I Volunteer: Barbara
Barbara Helsdon - Volunteer since 1990
Barbara has volunteered in various capacities with the Alzheimer Society of Oxford spanning many years.
“There are many reasons why I make time to volunteer. I like to help people in any way that I can, to be kind and caring and to give back to those who have helped me and to my community. I have met some wonderful people through volunteering and have become friends with many.
“I chose the Alzheimer Society of Oxford to volunteer mainly because my mother had Alzheimer’s and I know firsthand the effect on a family. The Alzheimer Society provides so many helpful programs and services by a wonderful team that is always so supportive, knowledgeable, and dedicated. As a volunteer, I like the orientation and support provided to volunteers. Sincere appreciation is shown in so many ways making me feel valued and part of the team.
“What do I enjoy the most is a difficult question for me to answer. There isn’t anything I haven’t enjoyed! As a board member, I enjoy the discussions, brainstorming and the challenges of the decision-making process, and fundraising. Working with other talented board members is fun. It has stimulated me to use some of the qualities required when I worked! One of the most rewarding, gratifying volunteer experiences was as a Volunteer Companion. I made a connection with a family that has lasted through time.
“I get great personal gratification from doing whatever I can, in any capacity to help the Alzheimer Society of Oxford. Over the years it has been so rewarding to see how the Society has grown and developed, providing programs and services throughout the county. I have been a volunteer for many years and will continue to do so for as long as I can.
“For someone who is thinking of accessing programs and services offered by the Alzheimer Society, I always strongly encourage them to contact the office and to talk to someone about what is available. I describe how helpful and supportive everyone is and describe briefly some of the programs available. If they are reluctant, I have given the name of someone to contact (with their permission) who has benefited from the services and programs offered. If appropriate I follow up to see how they are doing. I tell them how fortunate we are to have such an exceptional Alzheimer Society in Oxford County!”
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Barbara was asked if she’s found herself continuing to volunteer her time in some way within her community or close network of friends or family. “I have offered to pick up groceries or drugstore items for neighbours when I have been going out, phoned family, friends, and neighbours, and sent emails. I have tried to keep in touch with as many people as I can. Unfortunately, I am in the age bracket that is being encouraged to stay home and self-isolate! So, for once in my life I am trying to do as I am told! I am fortunate to live in a community that is supportive and have neighbours that look out for one another.”
Barbara, we applaud your hard work, support, and dedication to the Alzheimer Society of Oxford spanning so many years! We thank you for the many, many ways you’ve impacted our client's lives and helped to influence our Society!