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Volunteer of the Year 2001-2002

Each year Community Care staff select one volunteer to receive special recognition for the work that they do to help seniors in the County. This is not an easy thing to do because we have over 600 volunteers and all of them are truly wonderful.

Wendy Norton, Co-ordinator and Pam Van Wart, Volunteer
Wendy Norton, Co-ordinator and
Pam Van Wart, Volunteer

This year Pam Van Wart is the 2001-2002 Volunteer of the Year. Pam is a compassionate, caring and willing volunteer. She came into the office a few years ago to ask a question and before she left she was a volunteer.

These are just a few of the things that Pam does to help seniors:

As a volunteer driver Pam prefers the short, in-town trips. These are the trips with many stops that can be 1/2 a day long. Pam is always there to help the seniors with their bags and to assist them in and out of their appointments.

We have a Friendly Visiting program that has been a challenge to every staff member since Community Care began. The program was given to me to oversee and I recruited Pam as a visitor for lonely seniors. She has 3 different clients that she visits once a week each for over an hour. Sometimes she goes with them for outdoor walks, other times she reads to them, and often she just listens to their stories. Pam's patience and caring makes the challenges of our Friendly Visiting program much easier to handle.

When a volunteer who is scheduled to deliver Meals on Wheels forgets or has an emergency that keeps them from their duties, it is up to me to find someone else to deliver the meals on that route. I usually get the call 1/2 hour to an hour after the meals should have been picked up. You guessed it, Pam Van Wart is near the top of my emergency call-in list. We have a few volunteers who will drop everything and deliver Meals on Wheels and Pam is one of them. Pam allows me to disrupt her lunch over and over again and delivers the meals with a smile.

Our Meals on Wheels program delivery system entails having meals picked up in Picton and dropped off at "depots" in Bloomfield and Wellington where other volunteers pick them up and deliver them to seniors. Pam filled in during January and February of this year when the regular volunteer went on vacation. This depot run can take over an hour to do.

When Community Care launched our thrift shop last August there was a lot of work to be done even before the doors opened on the first day. Pam rolled up her sleeves and co-ordinated the sorting, washing, cleaning and pricing of all the donated goods from July through to October. Her help during the start-up phase of the thrift shop certainly helped set the course to success that we now enjoy.

Pam does all the things I've just described to help make the lives of others better. She is also willing to don a Mrs. Claus costume to bring smiles to the seniors at our Christmas Seniors' Dinners. You might have sighted Mrs. Claus on the Community Care float in the Wellington Santa Claus Parade, too. Pam and her friends entered the float to help promote Community Care.

It gives me great pleasure to tell people about the work that Pam does for Community Care. I know that she is a person who prefers to work quietly but she deserves recognition. Our sincere thanks go to Pam for all that she does.

Presentation by Wendy Norton, Co-ordinator.

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The Prince Edward County Community Care for Seniors Association provides a range of programs for seniors including Meals on Wheels and services such as transportation to medical and other appointments, Seniors' Dinners in several locations, foot care clinics in Picton and Wellington, completion of Income Tax, and assistance with other forms. The main office is located in The Armoury, 206 Main Street in Picton. An office in Wellington is open each Tuesday at 271 Main Street. Call 476-7493 for more information or to order a cook book.