Ron’s Volunteer Journey

Ron Berman joined the Bernard Betel Centre volunteer team in 2011 shortly after retiring from his full-time job as the Director of Purchasing and Inventory Control for Global Furniture. He had a staff of 25 people and directed the purchase of local and overseas suppliers.

He was looking for something useful to do with his free time.

Ron approached Dianne, Coordinator of the Computer Learning and Resource Centre at the Bernard Betel Centre, said that he was technically knowledgeable and asked if would there be a spot for him to volunteer to help seniors learn how to use their computers.

Ron began as an in-class volunteer for computer classes, helping guide our students through the often confusing maze of learning how to use today’s computers and technology.

He then offered to teach some classes that had not previously been offered by the Bernard Betel Centre. Adding Google Plus and Windows 10 classes were all his ideas, and when he realized the interest that older adults have in iPads, iPhones and Android devices, he initiated those classes as well.

During this time, Ron never forgot his desire to “give back” and volunteer. The Bernard Betel Centre’s computer department has a program called Ask the Expert, where members could come in and ask questions and receive one-on-one assistance with their phones, cameras, computers, laptops and tablets. Ron has embraced the “Ask the Expert” program as his own, volunteering his time for the program. Often times, there are waiting lists of eager students excited to meet with Ron for his expertise working with older adults on a one-on-one basis, and helping answer their technical questions. Ron sits in an office at the Betel Centre on Wednesdays from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm (some days, if there is a lineup, he will start at 12:00 pm) handling the various technical issues and questions that arise. This he does with incredible patience, imagination and panache, and as a volunteer.

Sometimes volunteers can be taken for granted, not remembering that they choose to come out and help, to take time out of their own lives to assist others. At the Bernard Betel Centre, we would not be able to provide the programs and services we do without our incredibly valuable volunteer team. The computer department here at the Betel Centre recognizes the incredible contribution that Ron Berman makes at the Bernard Betel Centre and in the lives of so many older adults in the community, and salutes his efforts.

To learn more about the Ask the Expert program or any of our other computer programs, please contact Dianne Erdos-Rush at 416-225-2112, ext. 128 or

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