Giving your time to others is 'rewarding,' says Heron Terrace volunteer

'I have learned that by giving a little of my time, I get so much more back,' says Jane Bourque
5/10/2024  - Deron Hamel
Pictured above, Heron Terrace volunteer Jane Bourque (left) and life enrichment manager Sheila dela Pena-Romero.  

After the tragic loss of a son, Jane Bourque says she was driven to volunteer her time to help others.

So, a year and a half ago, she started volunteering for Meals on Wheels. Since she was enjoying her experience with the charity, which delivers meals to senior citizens and people with disabilities, she decided to volunteer with a long-term care community about a year ago and discovered Heron Terrace.

“I wanted, in some small way, to give back,” Jane tells S&R Today.

Much of Jane's volunteering at the Windsor long-term care community centres on having meaningful conversations with residents.

One of her most notable successes as a volunteer is starting a monthly bereavement support group to help residents cope with loss.

The positive outcomes generated from Jane's work with residents is noticed by the Heron Terrace team.

Life enrichment manager Sheila dela Pena-Romero says Jane is empathetic and draws on her own experiences with grief to help residents through trying times.

“(Jane has) a strong connection with residents who are experiencing (loss),” Sheila says. “She is a great help to my team. ... She is awesome.”

And Jane says volunteering has been a valuable learning experience.

“I have learned that by giving a little of my time, I get so much more back,” she says.

Jane says if someone thinking about volunteering at a long-term care community asked her what they could expect, she says she would tell them they would have the same positive experience.

“I would tell someone considering volunteering how rewarding it is,” she says.

April 14-20 was National Volunteer Week 2024. The week is marked by events nationwide that celebrate volunteers and all they do to enrich the lives of others. This year marks the 83rd National Volunteer Week.

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