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A lifetime of volunteering
In 1980, the Alzheimer Society of Canada was located in one room on the third floor of a school on Niagara Street in Toronto. School bells rang every 45 minutes. A telephone and manual typewriter were the only technology. The staff consisted of a part-time secretary and a part-time director.
And volunteer Betty Poole.
Today, staff of the Alzheimer Society of Canada work in an office tower complete with photocopiers, printers, computers and the internet – all the technological aids needed to conduct business today.
And Betty Poole is still volunteering.
This past March, Betty celebrated her 32nd year of volunteering with the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Every week for more than three decades, Betty has helped with acknowledging in memoriam donations, from the little room on Niagara Street to the two-floor office on Yonge St.
At almost 85 years of age, Betty has dedicated her life to helping those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A family connection to the disease first got her started, and Betty says she has no intention of retiring any time soon.
“I like feeling useful,” says Betty. “And the people here are wonderful. Some of these people are my best friends.”
In 32 years, a lot has changed. “Look at all the equipment!” says Betty. “When computers came in, I thought I’d be out of a job! I used to write receipts by hand; I must have written thousands. Luckily, they found other work for me to do.”
If you’re looking for a way to give back to your community, why not volunteer with your local Alzheimer Society? Betty suggests the Alzheimer Society.“They offer support for families, and that’s the most important thing. It’s the family that suffers the most.”
Betty has spent her life helping others in and around her community. Her work with the Alzheimer Society is greatly appreciated, and the office wouldn’t be the same without her. Betty says, simply, “It’s just something I do.”
Want to become a volunteer? Learn more about the advantages of volunteering.