I have been the volunteer bookkeeper/treasurer for the past year for Abbotsford Healthy Aging. I am also involved with Volunteer Abbotsford, another not-for-profit organization in Abbotsford. We provide volunteers at the Abbotsford Entertainment Centre and contribute our funds to the Food Bank. I also enjoy contributing time to the Social Committee in the complex where I live.
I was born on a small farm in a little town in Southern Ontario. Everyone spoke French where I came from so my early education was totally in French. It wasn’t until high school that I learned any English. It was common for my teachers to make fun of my ‘accent’ but over time, I became totally bilingual.
Later in life, my husband and I moved to beautiful British Columbia with our five children. I had always wanted to be a teacher, so when the children were all in school, I decided that I needed to upgrade my education. It was a difficult time for me, raising my children and simultaneously taking university courses but I persevered. It took seven years to complete my University Degree. I then continued on and obtained my Teaching Degree.
I am now a retired French Immersion teacher who has used my teaching skills on many levels. I have taught various age groups of students including those in elementary school, junior high and senior high school. I have also taught classes for adults who worked for the Federal Government.
My large family, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, all of whom live close by certainly keep us busy yet I still have a desire and the time to be useful in other ways.
I believe that it is essential to do what we can, to help whenever and wherever it is needed. To me, volunteering in various groups is a way of giving back to society. The satisfaction one gets for doing something to help others and giving back to the community, is certainly well worth it!
I have been involved in HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C work since 1994 when I first signed on with the North Island AIDS Coalition (NIAC). After 10 years with NIAC working my way up from Harm Reduction/Outreach to Director of Programs I started branching out as a private consultant and contracted with Vancouver Native Health as the Peer Support Coordinator for two years creating and teaching three levels of Peer Support Trainings. I am still in contact with many of the participants who took these trainings. Following the end of that contract I moved to California to accept an Executive Director position with a large non-profit. This large non-profit looked after transitional and supportive housing, a drop in Centre, large community food bank, crisis line and a thrift store. Although I loved the California weather and my job there, I missed my family in Canada and decided to move closer to home so after two years in California my husband Burton and I relocated to NW Washington State where I worked as a private consultant and was instrumental in creating Peer Support Manuals and Trainings for the Pacific Hepatitis C Network. In 2012 I applied for and became the first Executive Director of PLFV. I have enjoyed helping PLFV grow to the vibrant community service it now is.