Volunteer Stories: Mary B


I first heard of the Better at Home Program when I was looking for some volunteer work during the beginning of the pandemic. As a retired nurse and nursing instructor, I thought that I might have something to offer during this critical time. I contacted Vancouver Coastal Health and one of the places they referred me to was North Shore Community Resources. As my main interest was helping seniors, I was happy to volunteer for the Better at Home program.

Offering Support to Those Who Are Isolated

I have been volunteering as a friendly phone visitor for isolated seniors for two years. In this capacity, I called seniors each week to see if they needed anything and to have a little chat. It was somewhat awkward at first (not knowing what to say) but after a few weeks, I think my calls were anticipated and enjoyed by most of the people. I got to know some of their likes and dislikes and shared information of anything from favorite recipes to good books to read. Some of my phone visits were a chance for people to just talk about their concerns and if I could, provide them with some sources where they might find help.

It felt rewarding to know that people were happy to have the support and the little guidance that I could provide. 

The volunteering experience has been extremely positive for me. I found everyone in the Better at Home Program to be so positive and helpful when I had a million questions. Because they were so kind and friendly, it made it very easy to work with them and to try to be helpful to them. In addition, I enjoyed having my routine phone visits. Every one of the people that I called expressed their thanks and one even said she wanted to become a volunteer too. So, for me, it was rewarding all around. Volunteering provided me with an opportunity to do something useful during a difficult time and that made me feel good. On the other hand, some people who were very isolated during Covid perhaps benefited from a friendly visit and a sense of support from the outside world.  And that made them feel good.