Community Connections - Issue No. 54 | June 1st, 2017
In this Issue:
What is new in Sooke Region Volunteer Center?
- About Us
- Staff addtions (an interview with Angela)
- Big Brothers Big Sisters Open House
- Questionnaire - Educational Sessions for Seniors (will be available soon)
- Appreciations to volunteer extraordinaire: Laura Smith
- Small Workshop Show May 27-June10, 2017
- Sooke Secret Garden, June 4, 2017
- Sooke Philharmonic Performs June 10 and 11, 2017
- Bluegrass Festival June 16-18, 2017
- Tall Tree Music Festival June 23-26, 2017
Sooke Region Volunteer Center helps connect People with volnteering opportunities in the Sooke Region. We belive that volutneering is a pilar in everyone's life. Our mission is to inspire to volunteer. Please contact us and become a volunteer! Please check our Facebook Page at Sooke Region Volunteers or our website. We have a list of organizations looking for volunteers. Drop by our office we would love to know what you would like to do as a volunteer, what skills you have and what your background is. We can the refer you to a compatible organization in our region. It is easy and time efficient. You can volunteer once, only during summer time or all year round. You decide how much time you can dedicate. Please do not wait. Give us a call. Our office hours are: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12.30-4.30PM and our phone number is: 250-642-6364 ext 235
Interview with Angela King
A History of Volunteerism
As a child, Angela King was no stranger to volunteer work, though at that time, no one in her New Brunswick community called it that. Instead, volunteerism came under the label of: the right thing to do. Angela did her part by running errands and babysitting for neighbours, plus grocery shopping, collecting mail, attending to yards, and shovelling snow for extended family. In addition, her family regularly gave blood, as Angela and her sister helped in the Red Cross donor registration and aftercare area. Giving was just something most people did. You help others when you can, and when you’re in a bind, people help you.
Between the ages of 12 and 18, Angela discovered the flip side of volunteer work; she became a recipient of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Organization. Her beloved Big Sister profoundly changed her life by opening her mind to things she never thought possible, not only by encouraging her in countless positive ways to step out of her comfort zone and gain self knowledge and confidence, but also through new opportunities.
Years later, as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Angela continued to give, not only through planned military actions and the military’s partnership with the United Way, but in her spare time as well.
In fact, a compassionate act of volunteering brought her to the island. In 1999, while stationed in Ontario, she heard of a single mother asking for help. The single mother, also in the armed forces, was about to be deployed to the west coast, and was desperately asking for a volunteer: would anyone trade postings with her so she could stay with her child and existing support system? Angela volunteered to go in her stead, even though she had to leave a budding relationship to do it (a relationship that then ended), as well as sacrifice her own connections and support system.
Angela stayed in the Navy for more than a decade after she moved west, and continued volunteering on the side. After finally retiring and completing a Commerce degree program at Royal Roads, it was a natural fit for her to create a business based on helping others. As a Life Assistance Facilitator, she cares for the infirm and shut-ins, as well as provides companionship, housekeeping, and mentorship. She regularly travels four hour return trips to provide food, clothing, and supplies to others in need, often preparing and sharing meals with the explanation that she has extra, whether she does or not. She also volunteers within the fishing community in sponsoring the Sooke Food Bank.
Angela has been at the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre since last August, where she works to match new volunteers with opportunities, provides resources to drop-ins, manages databases, coordinates volunteer opportunities for the youth, and operates information booths.
So why does this Volunteer Extraordinaire do it? What does she get out of it?
When she was a child, Angela says that it was just the way things were done. Everyone gave when they could. The community was small and close, and helping each other was their family and community culture.
However, after leaving her original environment, her reasons slowly changed and grew. Now, she does it because she enjoys feeling part of something bigger. Working for something more important than her own wants, for a higher cause, is not only satisfying, but gives her a strong sense of creating something of lasting value.
Another part that draws her is the professional development she can explore. Volunteering gives her opportunities to learn new things, to get further experience in fields she is already proficient in, and to gain professional connections. By giving her time and expertise, she gains experience worthy of any resume.
She is giving, and she is receiving. As she says, “If you want to live in this world, you must also support this world. You help others, and you are helped.”
There’s no doubt she has returned her own Big Sister’s kindnesses a hundred-fold, and who knows where the impact of her own work will end? If carried on by those she inspires, it simply may not.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters Open House
On May 18th 2017, we hosted Big Brothers, Big Sisters Open House in our office. As you know Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria offers mentoring programs, which enhance a child's sense of belonging, self-worth, resiliency and capacity to make healthy, well informed choices.
Now this program is available in Sooke!. Get involved and Become a Community Mentor Volutneer! If you have 2 to 4 hours each week doing fun activities and sharing your interest with a child this is a program you should volunteer for. You can help our kinds in Sooke!
LETTER: Appreciations to volunteer extraordinaire: Laura Smith
May 20, 2017
– by Maxine Medhurst
There are times where the words “Thank You” are not nearly enough!! This is especially true when recognizing Laura Smith!!
Laura has volunteered for 10 years through SEAPARC to lead a Tuesday/Thursday walking group. She chose trails around Sooke and as she was a volunteer, affordability was not an issue for anyone. Laura strongly believes in living a healthy lifestyle, so helping the people of Sooke become healthier folk was a natural fit for her.
My husband and I have been part of Laura’s walking group for seven years. We have watched a small group of strangers become a large group of friends.
This didn’t just happen but was created due to Laura’s welcoming, caring, open, friendly personality!!
We became a group where newbies easily connected with others. Where they learned about our beautiful city of Sooke and all the wonderful things it has to offer.
Strong friendships were formed. The walkers, along with Laura, have laughed and cried together, have supported each other through times of sorrow and celebrated happy times.
Laura’s gift of volunteering to lead SEAPARC’s walking club and the after walk coffees have also resulted in many members becoming involved in volunteering for clubs/groups/organizations that enhance our community.
Laura Smith is retiring this year. Her 10 years of volunteering have resulted in creating healthier lifestyles for many people as well as making a difference in so many lives.
We, her walkers, will be forever grateful for our time spent with this amazing, energetic, warm friend, Laura! We are thankful for the laughter, tears, jokes, companionship, beautiful walks and healthier us!!!
Laura Smith ……..THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!
- Small Workshop Show May 27-June10th
- Sooke Secret Garden, June 4th 2017
- Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus June 10th and June 11th 2017
- Bluegrass Festival June 16-18th 2017
15th anniversary bluegrass festival at Sooke River Campground
- Tall Tree Music Festival June 23-26th
Brown Mountain, Port Renfrew