Volunteer Jeanne Irvine has been making Village Green residents smile for 22 years

Village Green volunteer Jeanne Irvine is seen here playing bingo with residents.

Volunteering started as a way for Jeanne to spend her time during her retirement. It has turned into a mission of love

SELBY, Ont. – Jeanne Irvine has been a dedicated volunteer at Village Green for about 22 years. What began as a pursuit to keep busy in her retirement has turned into a passion for helping people living at the Greater Napanee long-term care home.

“At the time, I was thinking about retiring and I wanted something to fill my time,” Jeanne recalls. “So one of my friends worked here and said that I should try (volunteering).”

Since then, Jeanne says she hasn’t looked back. It’s the residents, she says, that have made the greatest impact on her.

“I just fell in love with them; each one of them,” she says.

Jeanne says her favourite aspects of volunteering at Village Green have been meeting people and helping residents.

And there has been a lot of learning along the way, she says.

“I learned a lot of patience. Dealing with the older people you find out their needs quickly,” she says.

Most of the work Jeanne does is with programming. She particularly enjoys helping residents when bingo is on. She also accompanies residents on outings. And if residents need to talk, she’s there to listen, Jeanne says.

Jeanne has also been involved with fundraising at Village Green. She even raised money to help build the home’s garden and gazebo, which residents have enjoyed using. The garden is fenced and even has a rubberized pathway.

If the folks at Village Green ever need help with any other type of initiative, Jeanne says all staff members need to do is ask and she will be there.

“If they have something for me to partake in, I will be a part of it,” she says.

Asked what has been most rewarding in her volunteering career, Jeanne says it’s her ability to make residents happy.

“(It’s) when you do something for them that you know they appreciate,” she says. “And they’re quick to tell you. Very quick.”

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