Some people see volunteering as a means of filling their time after retiring from a lifelong career. For others, it’s a passion instilled within them from their upbringing and shared with generations to come.
Barbara Ann Zummach is celebrating 30 years of volunteering with the Carefor South Stormont Support Centre in Ingleside. Formerly a registered nurse at the Cornwall Community Hospital, she began delivering meals to seniors in the community along-side her parents, followed by her aunt. “The upbringing I came from and what I’ve tried to instill in our next two generations after us is that volunteering is medicine. It makes you feel worthy and good. It keeps you active, keeps your mind going and is something to look forward to,” Barbara Ann explained.
Reflecting on how volunteering has changed over the years, Barbara Ann has enjoyed her role as a driver, and chatting with other volunteers while delivering meals. No matter the weather, Barbara Ann has always managed to make it to her deliveries: “It doesn’t matter if the roads are dirty or if they’re icy, you take your time.”
Now a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteering has changed across Carefor. Barbara Ann explained, “We’re usually solo in the car, which makes a difference.” Looking back, Barbara Ann misses chatting with seniors during her deliveries: “The pandemic has certainly limited our enjoyment of interaction, but I think personally, I like to take the break from my life and transition into theirs through conversation. I really do enjoy hearing about the grand babies and what’s new and important to them.”
The Meal Delivery Program is one of the many essential community support programs offered by Carefor and relies on the help of volunteers to stay operational. “Being a volunteer gives you a lot of satisfaction,” Barbara Ann shared. With over 500 clients across the Eastern Counties, the Meal Delivery Program has nearly doubled over the past 12 months.