Elsie's & Ruth's Stories

Helping a Neighbour

With the help of volunteers like Ruth, Community Care Durham, a United Way funded program, offers daily nutritional meals check-ins and social visits through its Meals-on-Wheels program. For clients like Elsie, it's a road back to the community she loves.

Elsie's story

For almost two decades, Elsie volunteered in her community. She helped coordinate celebrations and holiday gatherings, took time to visit and deliver books to indigent seniors, and she made her famous punch for volunteer appreciation events. After suffering a fall, Elsie found herself in need of the very support she had been providing for so many.

"A very special friend who volunteered with Community Care, she was the supervisor at the Senior Centre for many years, asked me if I was interested in joining. Nineteen years later, I'm very proud to have had the pleasure of volunteering with them."

"Some of the things I would do? I was on the board, and when we had special events, I would focus on getting donations from the community such as food. One time, I got 60lbs of potatoes and ingredients for our punch for our Christmas dinner for our clients. Most times, I could get a dozen plants to donate prizes. In my early days, I would manage to get a gift for every client. I got so much pleasure from my involvement every year."

"When I took ill, a fall resulting in three vertebrae fractures last September did quite a lot of damage to my already existing back problems. In desperation, I reached out to a a special contact who was employed for a long time at Community Care. I was surprised and so very grateful to see people at my door the next day. Later that same year, I had a fractured hip requiring surgery, two lengthy hospitalizations, and remain in home care today. I feel very privileged, all these visiting PSW are competent and amazing staff. For my friends and family, it's a relief to know I am cared for while I recover."

"With my Community Care programs in place, I'm hoping to get back to my volunteer work in the community. I'm so proud to have been a volunteer at Community Care."

Ruth's Story

As a retired nurse, Ruth has always had a passion for helping those in need.

For many years, volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels was on her bucket list. The program is a great fit for her as it allowed her to meet Community Care Durham's clients face-to-face, and experience the the human connection she was looking for in her retirement.

"A little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someone's life"

Ruth looks forward to visiting her clients in their home on her weekly delivery route with their hot lunch for the day. She says: "The meal delivery truly comes second to the visit, as the stories shared make it so much more meaningful". She strongly believes in the idea that a little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someone's life.

Ruth has been supported by Community Care Durham through her volunteer journey. She looks forward to one day receiving meals from an organization that assists so many clients in the community, with the help of United Way funding.


United Way Durham Region, 2018

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