Ancaster Community Services celebrates its volunteers

News Apr 30, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

It has been proclaimed many times that Hamilton is a hotbed of volunteerism.

And there is no better example of that commitment to service than Ancaster resident Jan Vallentin, who has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for 18 years.

When she stopped working as a forklift driver at a large manufacturing plant, Vallentin wanted to keep herself busy. She started volunteering at her church, and then she got involved with Ancaster Community Services.

“I do like volunteering,” said Vallentin. “It’s a nice way to give back and it is very satisfying.”

She also enjoys helping people. One time, when delivering meals, she discovered a person who needed help at their home – something that wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t part of the Meals on Wheels program.

But during the novel coronavirus pandemic, providing essential help to seniors and the less vulnerable is more important than ever, she said.

She praised Ancaster Community Services executive director Melanie Barlow for creating an environment for volunteers and clients to be safe in while still performing their important duties.

Lynn Norris, who has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Ancaster, agreed that Barlow has created an environment that makes both volunteers and clients safe and secure.

“I feel very confident,” said Norris, who has volunteered with the program for 18 months.

The Ancaster resident said she agreed to participate after one of her friends started to volunteer.

“I was hearing the stories and learning about it,” she said. “I tagged along one day to see what the experience was. I felt comfortable.”

She praises Barlow for establishing a “well-executed program,” especially during a pandemic.

“We have so many amazing volunteers,” said Norris. “They do far more than I do.”

Barlow is constantly praising and thanking her estimated 130 volunteers, since without them, any one of the Ancaster Community Services programs wouldn’t exist.

The volunteers interact with people and seniors when then can, and that gives them some important connections and socialization, said Barlow.

During National Volunteer Week, which was April 19-25, Barlow was honouring her volunteers, providing them with a bag of Lindt chocolates as they picked up meals for the seniors they were about to visit.

As Sue and Andy Kalbfleisch arrived to pick up their food containers, Barlow was chatting and laughing with them, encouraging Sue to take the chocolates.

There are almost 13 million Canadian volunteers, said Paula Speevak, president and chief executive officer of Volunteer Canada.

“This year, we want to shine the spotlight on those volunteering to support essential services during this public health crisis and to salute those who help by staying home to protect themselves and their communities.”

Volunteer Canada estimates that volunteers contribute over $55 billion per year to the country’s economy.

Barlow said that when the pandemic arrived, some volunteers decided to step back from the program – a decision she completely understood.

“They have families that they need to take care of, and they were worried,” she said.

“We have tried to make the program contactless, leaving the containers outside on the doorstep, wiping and spraying everything, having the volunteers use gloves and masks,” she said.

“It’s so important to have these wonderful volunteers,” Barlow added. “I can’t say enough about them.”

Ancaster volunteers essential to helping less fortunate in community

News Apr 30, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

It has been proclaimed many times that Hamilton is a hotbed of volunteerism.

And there is no better example of that commitment to service than Ancaster resident Jan Vallentin, who has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for 18 years.

When she stopped working as a forklift driver at a large manufacturing plant, Vallentin wanted to keep herself busy. She started volunteering at her church, and then she got involved with Ancaster Community Services.

“I do like volunteering,” said Vallentin. “It’s a nice way to give back and it is very satisfying.”

She also enjoys helping people. One time, when delivering meals, she discovered a person who needed help at their home – something that wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t part of the Meals on Wheels program.

But during the novel coronavirus pandemic, providing essential help to seniors and the less vulnerable is more important than ever, she said.

She praised Ancaster Community Services executive director Melanie Barlow for creating an environment for volunteers and clients to be safe in while still performing their important duties.

Lynn Norris, who has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Ancaster, agreed that Barlow has created an environment that makes both volunteers and clients safe and secure.

“I feel very confident,” said Norris, who has volunteered with the program for 18 months.

The Ancaster resident said she agreed to participate after one of her friends started to volunteer.

“I was hearing the stories and learning about it,” she said. “I tagged along one day to see what the experience was. I felt comfortable.”

She praises Barlow for establishing a “well-executed program,” especially during a pandemic.

“We have so many amazing volunteers,” said Norris. “They do far more than I do.”

Barlow is constantly praising and thanking her estimated 130 volunteers, since without them, any one of the Ancaster Community Services programs wouldn’t exist.

The volunteers interact with people and seniors when then can, and that gives them some important connections and socialization, said Barlow.

During National Volunteer Week, which was April 19-25, Barlow was honouring her volunteers, providing them with a bag of Lindt chocolates as they picked up meals for the seniors they were about to visit.

As Sue and Andy Kalbfleisch arrived to pick up their food containers, Barlow was chatting and laughing with them, encouraging Sue to take the chocolates.

There are almost 13 million Canadian volunteers, said Paula Speevak, president and chief executive officer of Volunteer Canada.

“This year, we want to shine the spotlight on those volunteering to support essential services during this public health crisis and to salute those who help by staying home to protect themselves and their communities.”

Volunteer Canada estimates that volunteers contribute over $55 billion per year to the country’s economy.

Barlow said that when the pandemic arrived, some volunteers decided to step back from the program – a decision she completely understood.

“They have families that they need to take care of, and they were worried,” she said.

“We have tried to make the program contactless, leaving the containers outside on the doorstep, wiping and spraying everything, having the volunteers use gloves and masks,” she said.

“It’s so important to have these wonderful volunteers,” Barlow added. “I can’t say enough about them.”

Ancaster volunteers essential to helping less fortunate in community

News Apr 30, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

It has been proclaimed many times that Hamilton is a hotbed of volunteerism.

And there is no better example of that commitment to service than Ancaster resident Jan Vallentin, who has been a volunteer with Meals on Wheels for 18 years.

When she stopped working as a forklift driver at a large manufacturing plant, Vallentin wanted to keep herself busy. She started volunteering at her church, and then she got involved with Ancaster Community Services.

“I do like volunteering,” said Vallentin. “It’s a nice way to give back and it is very satisfying.”

She also enjoys helping people. One time, when delivering meals, she discovered a person who needed help at their home – something that wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t part of the Meals on Wheels program.

But during the novel coronavirus pandemic, providing essential help to seniors and the less vulnerable is more important than ever, she said.

She praised Ancaster Community Services executive director Melanie Barlow for creating an environment for volunteers and clients to be safe in while still performing their important duties.

Lynn Norris, who has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels in Ancaster, agreed that Barlow has created an environment that makes both volunteers and clients safe and secure.

“I feel very confident,” said Norris, who has volunteered with the program for 18 months.

The Ancaster resident said she agreed to participate after one of her friends started to volunteer.

“I was hearing the stories and learning about it,” she said. “I tagged along one day to see what the experience was. I felt comfortable.”

She praises Barlow for establishing a “well-executed program,” especially during a pandemic.

“We have so many amazing volunteers,” said Norris. “They do far more than I do.”

Barlow is constantly praising and thanking her estimated 130 volunteers, since without them, any one of the Ancaster Community Services programs wouldn’t exist.

The volunteers interact with people and seniors when then can, and that gives them some important connections and socialization, said Barlow.

During National Volunteer Week, which was April 19-25, Barlow was honouring her volunteers, providing them with a bag of Lindt chocolates as they picked up meals for the seniors they were about to visit.

As Sue and Andy Kalbfleisch arrived to pick up their food containers, Barlow was chatting and laughing with them, encouraging Sue to take the chocolates.

There are almost 13 million Canadian volunteers, said Paula Speevak, president and chief executive officer of Volunteer Canada.

“This year, we want to shine the spotlight on those volunteering to support essential services during this public health crisis and to salute those who help by staying home to protect themselves and their communities.”

Volunteer Canada estimates that volunteers contribute over $55 billion per year to the country’s economy.

Barlow said that when the pandemic arrived, some volunteers decided to step back from the program – a decision she completely understood.

“They have families that they need to take care of, and they were worried,” she said.

“We have tried to make the program contactless, leaving the containers outside on the doorstep, wiping and spraying everything, having the volunteers use gloves and masks,” she said.

“It’s so important to have these wonderful volunteers,” Barlow added. “I can’t say enough about them.”