Volunteer Stories – National Volunteer Week 2023

As we celebrate National Volunteer Week 2023, we recognize the contributions of our Board of Directors and Members’ Council volunteers who bring their own unique experiences, skills and passion to their work. They are a hands on team who personify our values of community, compassion, creativity, dignity and respect. Going beyond their leadership role, they are actively engaged in all facets of the centre.

Here is a brief introduction to some of our leadership volunteers. You can read their full stories here:
Bonnie Baker: https://betelcentre.org/2021/11/24/2021-volunteer-toronto-legacy-award-nominee-bonnie-baker/
Sonia Jacobs: https://betelcentre.org/2023/04/17/spotlight-on-sonia-jacobs-board-member/
Hava Aharoni: https://betelcentre.org/2023/04/17/the-heart-and-soul-of-a-volunteer/ 

For most of her career, Bonnie Baker worked in the Ontario Public Service in policy analysis and development and program management. In 2010, she became a Betel volunteer and has held many leadership roles in which she shared her expertise to strengthen the Board structure and guide us through our COVID-19 planning process. On Thursday mornings, she can be found in the auditorium assisting with the meal packing and preparation of 3,000 meals that are delivered each week through our Meals on Wheels program. As Bonnie says, “I am committed to help seniors remain at home, fully engaged and healthy.”

Twelve years ago, Sonia Jacobs joined the Board of Directors. With a background in quality and risk management her focus has been participating on the Board Quality Committee and has found time to assist with strategic planning and board nominations. Sonia understands how essential our Meals on Wheels program is to our senior clientele and helped organize the Tribute Event Gala held last November in support of the meal program. Every Wednesday morning she assists with the meal prep and packing and then joins her husband, Kevin to deliver meals to seniors in the community. Sonia shares why she volunteers. “I am a firm believer that you get out of life what you put into life. I have endeavored never to take my privilege for granted but to use it for good purpose.”

In 1992, Hava Aharoni was looking for activities her father could do during the day while she was at work. This was her first exposure to the centre and a very positive experience for her father. When she retired from her position as Coordinator of the Scott Library Access Services Department at York University, she joined Betel as a program volunteer and active member. Soon after, she was elected Chair of the Members’ Council and then to the Board of Directors representing the Council. Hava still finds time to come in every Thursday to do labelling for the Meals on Wheels program. Last year, Hava reached her 10-year milestone level of volunteer service at Betel. In addition to her expertise in management and multiple language skills, Hava has a unique flair and passionate soul. She shares, “It is a wonderful feeling when people know who you are, they know your name and you feel you belong.”

2 thoughts on “Volunteer Stories – National Volunteer Week 2023”

  1. Thanks to the Staff and Volunteers of the Bernard Betel Centre. I appreciate the continuous delivery of Kosher Meals to my home and the opportunity to attend the Pesach Seder this year. I want to acknowledge the friendly attention I receive from all the Staff when I am at the Betel Centre Footcare Clinic. .I do miss the Inter-generational programs with the school children. I also enjoyed the inspiration and friendliness of Carolyn Peters the leader, and of the Memoir Writing Group. Best Wishes to all the Staff for good health and inspiration to continue to serve the community.

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