The Flamborough Volunteer Appreciation event, hosted by Flamborough Connects, recognized the commitment and spirit of volunteers in the community. The event was open to all organizations, clubs and volunteers in Flamborough and included entertainment and door prizes.
Flamborough Connects presented the inaugural Senior Volunteer of the Year award to this year’s winner Carole Campbell.
Carole Campbell’s first memory of volunteering is being responsible for bringing flowers from her grandmother’s garden to decorate the altar at their church when she was very small. That was about 75 years ago, and while she says her contributions were “nothing specific,” it was the start of a lifetime of service to her neighbours, her church and her community.
Following in the footsteps of her parents, whom she describes as lifelong volunteers, the list of her contributions is long. As a teenager, she organized the 4-H Club at Union “A” School, and later helped set up exhibits for the Rockton Fair for many years. She worked alongside her parents in the early days of Westfield Pioneer Village, before the heritage site was taken over by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. She also served on the board of the former West Flamborough Cemetery, and was a volunteer with the Hamilton and Stoney Creek Boy Scouts. She is an active member of the Flamborough Seniors Centre, and keeps other members of the community up to date on events at the facility, as well as the Flamborough Connects food bus.
Carole also donates her time and talents to Christ Church Flamborough in Greensville, where she organizes meeting for the Friendship Group, which is open to anyone in the community and currently comprises 10 members. The group’s recent activities have included a visit to 541 Barton Street in Hamilton and community lunches and dinners. She also volunteered for many years with the church’s Calling and Caring committee, which provides support to members of the church who are unable to get out in the community, as well as young adults who are away from home attending university or college.
Carole was active on the committee that organized Christ Church’s 150th anniversary celebrations, and sold tickets for quilt raffle and the Westfield fashion show. As a member of the church’s cemetery board, she led the planting of the “scattering garden” and was responsible for watering plants. She also organizes the volunteers for the spring and fall cleanup of the cemetery. Additional involvement at the church includes providing muffins and coffee after Sunday service and helping out with the family movie nights.
“I try to volunteer for other events at the church whenever possible,” she noted. Carole is still an active garlic grower, and tending to her quarter-acre garden takes up a chunk of her time, but she estimates she is still able to spend as much as 30 hours a week volunteering.
She says her most satisfying experience as a volunteer happened when she started using the Flamborough Connects food bus. Due to a visual impairment that restricts her driving, she signed up for the service. She quickly found a way to assist one of the clients with mobility issues who otherwise would not be able to get her groceries. “I find this greatly satisfying to make such a difference in another person’s life,” she said. Carole believes strongly in making sure no one in the community is left behind, and she encourages other people to get involved, in whatever way they can.
“Whatever your special talents, your contributions will help. They say that exercise and social connections are two of the most important elements to leading a fulfilling life in your later years. Volunteering provides both.
“As a volunteer, I think I get more back in friendship and enjoyment than I give.”