Volunteering couple making a difference at Village on the Thames

Priscilla and Dwight Yellowage have been volunteering at the seniors living community for 2 1/2 years
6/12/2019  - Deron Hamel
Village on the Thames volunteers Priscilla and Dwight Yellowage.  

Priscilla Yellowage says she and her husband, Dwight, got the idea to start volunteering at the Village on the Thames in December 2016 while visiting her sister-in-law at the Chatham-Kent seniors living community.

Since Priscilla and Dwight were spending so much time there, they decided to approach fun co-ordinator Tina Drew to offer to volunteer.

“I would come and bring (my sister-in-law) to activities, and that’s when we offered to Tina that we could come in once a week,” Priscilla tells S&R Today.

Residents know that when Priscilla and Dwight are around they will get to play a card game called hoya, which has become a favourite activity.

Hoya is played by having residents pick any five cards from a deck. Dwight holds another full deck of cards and calls the card at the top of the deck one by one.

As residents see one of their cards called, they push it on the table. As soon as they get all five cards, they shout “hoya!”, and they win 25 cents and a chocolate bar.

Twelve games are played during each session.

Priscilla says she and Dwight enjoy spending time with residents during their visits.

“I think the nicest part about retirement homes is that the residents are kind and they enjoy doing different things, so that’s encouraging,” she says, adding that volunteering is a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.

“Some of the residents don’t get a lot of visitors, so it’s a chance to cheer up their day.”

April 7-13 was National Volunteer Week 2019. The week was marked by events nationwide that celebrate volunteers and all they do to enrich the lives of others. This year marked the 78th National Volunteer Week.

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