A deathly fear of water brought Jill Frances Siebert to the YMCA.
Along with overcoming her fear, she has also found a second home there through volunteering.
“I have been volunteering for almost 40 years. The Y taught me how to swim. Two girls named Jill and Laurie got me over my fear and then taught me how to swim,” recalled Jill.
“Before the pandemic, I was volunteering in aquatics helping the children which I really enjoy. Because of COVID I cannot do that, so I am volunteering in the office instead.”
Originally from England, Jill moved to the Central Okanagan in 1948.
“I was adopted into a family with five boys then me and then there was one more boy after me,” explained Jill.
“I love to have my kids around me, I have four sons, 10 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Boys prevail in my family. I am very fortunate that they all live near by in the Okanagan.”
Jill volunteers because she likes to feel needed and to contribute, to be active and being around people.
“I love the comradery. I am always delighted to be with everyone when I come over to volunteer. You get to meet different kinds of people. Some you stay friends with forever and that is so big and deep. You cannot get that anywhere else,” she said, encouraging others to pursue their volunteer interests.
Jill’s volunteer story reflects so many of the reasons the Government of Canada has funded the Volunteer55 project through the New Horizons for Seniors program.
Volunteering helps older adults stay engaged and connected, as their commitment to non-profit organizations makes a huge impact in the community.
If you are looking for opportunities to be involved – no matter your age – contact KCR Community Resources about the VolunteerConnector, an online volunteer platform that can match you with the perfect opportunity for your skills and passions.
More information is available at www.kcr.ca or contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-763-8008 x141.
As Jill says, volunteering lets her “feel fulfilled. The fact that when I get up, I know I am needed and respected, that is so nice, to have that feeling that someplace needs me!”
Dorothee Birker is the communications and development coordinator for KCR Community Resources, a multi-service agency offering programs and services to meet community, family and individual needs.