Muskoka Seniors celebrate their dedicated volunteers

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Photos supplied by Muskoka Seniors

Last Wednesday, June 29, the Muskoka Seniors took time out to celebrate the people who provide so much to their organization.

“You are all to be congratulated for your outstanding dedication and heartfelt contributions.  And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Sarah Caswell, Program Co-ordinator, to the approximately 130 volunteers in attendance.

The organization’s 147 dedicated volunteers provided an impressive amount of service over the course of the past year:

-20,410 registered volunteer hours serving 875 seniors primarily in North Muskoka
-13,409 in-home and tele-chat visits made
-6,456 trips to medical appointments, shopping, banking, and other healthy living activities
-5,696 friendship luncheon meals served
-4,416 Meals on Wheels dinners delivered
-117 patients transported home from hospital with the VON Home at Last program
-99 free income tax returns prepared

Those volunteers come from all walks of life and are all ages, said Muskoka Seniors Executive Director Donna Nairn, from a high school student to a phone volunteer in her 90s.

They visit seniors in their homes or take them out for coffee. They participate in a phone circle of concern, calling a senior to chat who then phones someone else and that person phones someone else and so on to check in. Or they call to chat on a daily or weekly schedule.

They drive seniors to and from appointments – medical ones, but also other appointments and activities like banking, grocery shopping, or a visit to the hair salon. They drive patients home from hospital – whether than hospital is in Muskoka or farther afield – when they have no family available to help.

They deliver Meals on Wheels – there is a fee for the food but not for the delivery – and serve up a weekly friendship luncheon every Tuesday in Huntsville and alternating Thursdays in Dorset and Baysville.

And they do more, all of it very much appreciated.

Those 20,000 hours are just the recorded ones. As our theme was this year, ‘Volunteers are the Heart’ of our organization. We have a really small staff. Without our volunteers we wouldn’t exist.Donna Nairn, Executive Director of Muskoka Seniors

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