Feature Volunteer – Steve Simon

Steve Simon has been volunteering in the Computer Department at the Bernard Betel Centre for 7 years. When Steve learned that the Computer Department was looking for volunteers, he applied hoping to share his expertise with older adults in the community. Every Wednesday, Steve leads the Open Lab, where members can use our computers, have their questions answered, and receive one-on-one assistance from volunteers like Steve. His invaluable commitment to the Open Lab has been praised by many of his students. His warmth and patience has provided support and given confidence to so many. Steve also helps out with our Ask The Expert program when our regular instructor is unavailable.

Steve is originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia. His family came to Canada from Europe in 1906 and settled in Halifax, which had a small but thriving Jewish population. Steve’s father was in the clothing industry (shmata industry), and as an adult Steve later moved to Montréal to join his older brother in the clothing industry there.

In 1981, Steve moved to Toronto and began a 10-year career with Xerox, where he learned the ‘ins and outs’ of electrical and electronic work. He loved the customer service aspect of his job and was highly praised by both his employer and the customers he worked for. He also worked for the Singer Company repairing sewing machines. Steve started his own business, selling clothing at flea markets and fairs around Ontario. He travelled quite a bit and loved interacting with the people he met all over the province.

The knowledge he gained at Xerox and Singer, and a feel for all things electrical and electronic, led him to run a small computer repair service that often branches out to home theatre setup, and satellite and cable repair, which he still does to this day. After Steve became a widower, he joined the Beth David Singles Club and handled all their computer requirements as a volunteer.

Steve says that he loves volunteering at the Bernard Betel Centre because he feels that he is giving back, and is glad to pass on his knowledge to others. He also loves to interact with the Betel members, staff, volunteers, and instructors. He says it’s more rewarding than all the money in the world!

The Bernard Betel Centre would not be what it is without the warm, giving, dedicated and positive nature of volunteers like Steve Simon. Thank you Steve!

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