Helene Waddell is a ‘natural volunteer’ at Frost Manor

Volunteer Helene Waddell (left) and life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton are pictured here during Frost Manor’s annual volunteer appreciation luncheon April 5.

‘When she first came here, she burst in with energy and she just started helping – it was something she just didn’t think anything of’

When her father moved into Frost Manor in July, Helene Waddell says she immediately sensed the warmth and love that staff members at the Lindsay long-term care home have for residents. She also felt the need to help, so Helene quickly began visiting with other residents when she was at Frost to see her dad. Read more

Therapy dog Vezna is putting smiles on faces, one resident at a time

Forest Hill resident Shirley Grant pets Vezna, a schnauzer mix, who visits residents with her owner, Sharon MacDonald. Sharon and Vezna volunteer at Forest Hill through Ottawa Therapy Dogs.

For three years, Vezna and her owner, Sharon MacDonald, who are with Ottawa Therapy Dogs, have been volunteering at Forest Hill

For three years, a miniature schnauzer mix named Vezna has been volunteering at Forest Hill with her owner, Sharon MacDonald. Sharon and Vezna, who are with Ottawa Therapy Dogs, leave residents smiling after each visit. Read more

Streamway Villa hosts BBQ to thank volunteers for their dedication to residents

‘Streamway Villa would not be the comfortable, fun and hopeful home it is without our volunteers’

Volunteers are an integral part of providing high quality of life to the residents of Streamway Villa, so the Cobourg long-term care home hosted its annual volunteer appreciation barbecue on Sept. 23 to thank the people who generously give their time to help residents. Read more

Connie Coll reflects on year volunteering at Springdale with her cat, Hero

Therapeutic Paws of Canada volunteer Connie Coll and her cat, Hero, are pictured here during a recent visit to Springdale Country Manor.

She says working with residents has reinforced the value pet therapy brings to people living in LTC homes

SPRINGVILLE, Ont. – Connie Coll says the support she and her cat, Hero, have received from Springdale Country Manor has been “wonderful” since the duo began volunteering at the Peterborough County long-term care home 15 months ago. Read more

VIDEO: Betty Drummond reflects on 33 years of volunteering

Betty Drummond has been volunteering in her community for 33 years. This includes volunteer work with young people as well as senior citizens. She is also a volunteer at Frost Manor. Read more

Young Burnbrae volunteer says experience has been rewarding

Volunteer Zack Smith, seen standing at the back, enjoys the pleasant weather with Burnbrae Gardens residents on April 24.

Zack Smith, who began volunteering at 16, says he’s getting from residents as much as he gives

Zack Smith has been coming into Burnbrae Gardens to volunteer with residents at the Campbellford long-term care home since he was about 16. Read more

‘I get a warm, fuzzy feeling from volunteering’

Rosebridge Manor volunteer Lynne Hurd (right) and resident Mildred Covill enjoy a conversation at the Jasper, Ont. long-term care home.

Volunteer Lynne Hurd shares how donating her time to residents has impacted her

Two years ago, Lynne Hurd was helping her friend find a long-term care home for her husband, when they ended up at Rosebridge Manor. Read more

Pleasant Meadow Manor thanks volunteers with a luncheon


LEC underscores value of those who donate their time to the home

Pleasant Meadow Manor thanked its volunteers by hosting a luncheon at the Norwood long-term care home on April 14. Read more

Volunteer attests to the difference donating time makes

Garden Terrace

Although her mother is no longer a Garden Terrace resident, Donna Getz continues to give her time

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Donna Getz began volunteering at Garden Terrace when her mother was a resident at the Ottawa-area long-term care home. When her mother passed away in 2010, she continued to donate her time to residents because of the difference she says volunteering makes.

And Getz is not alone; there’s a group of other family members of former residents who has continued to volunteer.

Initially, Getz and the other volunteers began coming to Garden Terrace on Saturdays. Together, the family members would create activities such as crafts or reading programs for residents. What all the family members noticed, she says, is how happy this made residents.

What’s more, volunteering made the family members feel good, Getz says.

“You’re making them feel good and they in turn make you feel good,” she says tells the OMNIway, adding volunteers learn a lot from the residents in the process. “It’s almost like a history lesson in some ways, but it’s something very special. Some people don’t have anyone, and it’s good to let them know that someone cares.”

Another perk to volunteering at Garden Terrace is that the home has always been supportive of volunteers, empowering them to create their own programming, Getz says.

“They’ve always been very open for us to go in to do what we wanted to do with the people,” she says.

Getz says if she was approached by someone interested in volunteering in a long-term care home, her suggestion would be to pay a visit to Garden Terrace.

“I would invite them to come and join us for an evening just to see what we do and what a difference it makes in their lives and ours,” she says.

April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week. The week is dedicated to recognizing Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers for their dedication to their communities. Click here for more information.

Keep reading the OMNIway for more stories about Garden Terrace volunteers as well as volunteers from across the organization.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)