Saskatchewan Abilities Council

 

 

 

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Sharon discovers the joy of volunteering

You’ve heard about the many wonderful volunteers who help enrich the lives of Saskatchewan Abilities Council clients—but have you heard about the growing number of clients who are becoming volunteers themselves? Sharon Braun, long-time client of the Swift Current Branch Training Centre, is one of them.

Last year, Sharon stepped outside her familiar Training Centre routine to volunteer at the local seniors centre. Sharon has participated in a variety of programs since first coming to the branch 26 years ago, but her main focus has always been her work in the Training Centre, most recently the Sewing department. With the shift to more community-based programming, staff members began to encourage Sharon to look beyond the Training Centre.

Sharon was hesitant at first, but staff members were quietly encouraging. Eventually, she decided to try volunteering at the Swift Current Care Centre. It was a perfect choice. Visiting with residents at the centre quickly became a favourite activity. Sharon’s face lights up when she sees the residents—some are old friends and co-workers from the Training Centre, some are brand new friends.

“Volunteering at the Swift Current Care Centre is fun because I get to visit friends, have coffee and play games,” Sharon says. “We smile and laugh a lot.”

Volunteering at the centre has given Sharon a sense of worth. Her enthusiasm and excitement for her volunteer job are infectious, and her heartfelt stories have encouraged other clients to explore volunteer opportunities, including many at the Cypress Health Region.

Sharon is one of a growing number of clients-turned-community volunteers. The benefits include a deeper connection to community, greater social inclusion and new friendships—for Sharon, the co-workers she inspires and the seniors she visits.