T’s Story about Volunteering with the Alzheimer Society
I came to volunteer with the Alzheimer Society more by chance than by design. Shortly before I retired, a friend who was a volunteer at the Walk for Alzheimer’s at Rotary Place in Orillia asked me to join her saying they could use more volunteers. It was an interesting, enjoyable day in a positive atmosphere, interacting with new people and those I knew. After helping with such things as registration, distributing water bottles and T shirts and cleaning up, at the end of the day I was invited to fill out an application and volunteer with the Society.
Since then, I have represented the Alzheimer Society with an information booth at health fairs, Seniors’ Day at the Orillia fairgrounds and Family Fun Fair at a retirement residence. I learned so much about Alzheimer’s just by familiarizing myself with the information pamphlets. Listening to people tell their stories, ask questions or talk about concerns put faces to it and made it personal. The information, meaningful programs and respect that the Society provides for people living with Alzheimer’s was clearly appreciated. I have also done tag days, distributed and picked up Coffee Break kits and during Covid, delivery of activity kits.
I have been a volunteer with the Alzheimer Society for over six years now. Aside from personal satisfaction, one of the things I like is the flexibility of time and volunteer opportunities, whether a regular commitment or as needed and taking into account skills and preferences.
Perhaps volunteering stems from learning about volunteering as a child, embracing the Brownie motto: Lend a Hand! Upon reflection, I think my varied volunteer experiences have all come from having interest in or seeing a need and stepping up even when I was unsure if it would be a good fit for me. Being a volunteer has always been gratifying and enjoyable, enriching my life with good people, connection and contribution to community.