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Community Connections - Issue No. 56 | August 1st, 2017

Issue No. 56 | August 1st, 2017

In this Issue:

What is new in Sooke Region Volunteer Center?

  • About Us
  • Staff additions - an interview with Trudy
  • Educational Sessions for seniors coming soon!

 Interesting Volunteer Opportunities

  • Meals on Wheels
  • Volunteers are needed to help construct the Avatar Grove boardwalk 
  • Sooke Region Museum
  • Ayre Manor 
  • More volunteer opportunities.....

 Community Events

  • Sooke Fine Arts Show July 28th-August 7th
  • August 1st, Free overdose prevention and Naloxone training in Sooke
  • Shirley Day, August 20th
  • Seniors' Cafe at Vienna Bakery, every Wednesday 

About Us

Sooke Region Volunteer Center helps connect People with volunteer opportunities in the Sooke Region. We believe that volunteering is a pillar 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 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

Staff Additions -Trudy Vermaas - Knowledge to Share

Trudy Vermaas went from loving cats to raising champion Burmese cats, to becoming a judge, to becoming one of only two European All-Breed Cat Judges in the northern European region. She recalls how difficult it was to gain the knowledge needed to accomplish these dreams, and it’s clear that she enjoyed the challenge as much as the accomplishment. In fact, it seems to be a theme in her life. To some extent, it is why she volunteers, and why she is even living in Sooke. She doesn’t let challenges slow her down.

Decades ago, she moved to Sooke from Holland with her husband. They stayed for several years, then headed back to Holland. However, they couldn’t get Sooke out of their hearts – so they bought a retirement home here, and looked forward to returning.

Sadly, before they could come back, Trudy’s husband passed away. Though she missed him terribly, and with her son’s encouragement, Trudy decided to keep to their plan – and in 2006, she returned to Sooke to face the challenges and learning that comes with living in a different country with different norms and values, and speaking a second language.

Shortly after arriving, Trudy started volunteering at EMCS Society as a board member, and later as treasurer. This led her to attend meetings at the Sooke Child, Youth, and Family Centre (then, CASA) as a liaison for the EMCS board, which led to volunteering at the CASA community garden and the Youth Council Steering Committee.

Trudy started working in the office at Sooke Region Volunteer Centre in 2013 because she was impressed by the number of volunteer organizations in Sooke, and the good they do. She is also intrigued by the questions: What do they need? How do we make them successful?

Those questions became her next challenge, as she set out to make the volunteer organizations as effective as possible through her work at the SRVC. Trudy enjoys the connection to the community that working with the SRVC gives her, plus feels satisfied that she can make a difference.

She also makes a difference by holding classes to help people suffering from chronic pain. She herself suffers pain as a result of meeting the challenges of a strenuous nursing career. “People can tell doctors or specialists how they feel, but it’s different when you learn from someone who has been there and knows what it’s like to feel that pain. You can see in their faces that they’re relieved. Finally, someone understands.”

Trudy is a big believer in the sharing of knowledge, and continuously learning, both very valuable contributions she makes to the SRVC. If she could do anything differently? She would be an extrovert, so she could make even more of a difference and help even more people. However, her wonderful example in facing challenges and her eagerness to not only learn but to share what she has learned speaks far more than she realizes. 

Educational Sessions for Seniors - 

Our flyer with all information will be available at the end of August. Please check community boards, visit local businesses to get a copy of it. It will be also advertised in local newspapers. You cannot miss it. Please mark your calendar for September 12th. This is the first day of the program. Sessions will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays here is Sooke. All by donation.

Interesting Volunteer Opportunities

Meals on Wheels

Help feed people in need by getting involved with Meals on Wheels.

Meals on Wheels is a program in Sooke that provides people in need with nutritious, affordable meals. A small group of locals get together every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the Sooke Community Hall and prepare fresh meals to be sent out.

Each meal costs $6 and is usually large enough to feed a customer for a full day.

Lorraine Hoy, who has been volunteering for more than 12 years, said Meals on Wheels prevents seniors from being put in a care home, by making sure they are OK when dropping off the food, and by giving them fully balanced meals.

“We keep a watchful eye on the community by delivering these meals,” said Hoy. “A lot of the seniors are very isolated, so it’s also nice for them to have a visit because most of the drivers will stay and chat for a bit with the customers when they deliver the food.”

Right now, Meals on Wheels is struggling to find enough volunteer drivers to help deliver the food.

Volunteer driver Cheryl Asham said her role is very rewarding because she loves being able to go into the senior’s homes and see them thriving, and knowing that they are getting the proper nutrition they need.

Each route takes a driver approximately an hour and allows them to see parts of Sooke they may not have seen before, and to help out people in their community.

“There’s nothing more gratifying than to know you are helping other seniors, being a senior myself,” said Asham. “Giving back is the most special gift to me.”

To become a driver for Meals on Wheels, please contact Marionn Smith at 250-642-5424.

  • Volunteers are needed to help construct the Avatar Grove boardwalk

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Volunteers are needed to help the Ancient Forest Alliance construct the Avatar Grove boardwalk over the next two weekends in Port Renfrew. Activities may include carrying boardwalk planks, hammering nails, bucketing gravel, digging soil, and moving a rock. Construction experience is not necessary but those with building skills are an asset. For more info, please contact the Ancient Forest Alliance by email at info@ancientforestalliance.org. Work crews will be on site July 29 to 30 and Aug. 5 to 7. The boardwalk officially opens to the public in mid-August

Sooke Region Museum is looking for volunteers!

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These are photos of one of the two narrow gauge rail engines the museum is restoring. We have come a long way, but we still have more to do. We are looking for more volunteers to help us. We usually get together on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 am to spend a couple of hours working on them. 

Ayre Manor

There are a lot of volunteer opportunities at Ayre Manor. 

Ayre Manor Lodge and Cottages

1) Essentials Shop Volunteer

2. Volunteer doing 1-on-1 activities with residents

3. Gardener

5. Ayre Manor Volunteer Coordination 

6. And much, much more. Please contact us for more information.

More volunteer opportunities.......

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Do you want to know what else you can do to help our community? Check our website for updated volunteer opportunities. There is a lot of options for almost everyone! Too many to mention them all.

Community Events

If you would like more information about community events please go to our calendar.

The community resources website www.sookeregionresources.com is funded in part by the


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