Welcome to our newest volunteers!

VON volunteer stands in front of car

Our staff and volunteers are at the heart of VON. Recently, we ran a successful social media campaign to recruit more caring volunteers to join our team in Nova Scotia and Ontario. We’re pleased to report that so far we have recruited more than 90 new volunteers! We’re so grateful they have chosen to be part of the VON family.

We expect the number of new volunteers to grow as we continue to spread awareness of the many and varied volunteer opportunities. Those who love to drive might consider delivering Meals on Wheels or driving clients to important appointments. Volunteers without access to a car might choose to make phone calls to clients, visit socially isolated individuals, provide supportive care, pack meals and more.

Our newest volunteers are joining a special group of people—dedicated community members like Bruce F., a transportation volunteer in Ontario. 

Have car, will travel… meet volunteer Bruce!

A retired insurance broker, Bruce can be found helping others most days of the week—when he’s not curling. He joined the VON team in 2021, eager to get out and help following the isolated early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bruce now drives VON clients two days a week, getting them to appointments they might otherwise not be able to attend, including out-of-town specialist appointments. “I've been a Rotarian for 32 years now,” Bruce says. “Our motto is ‘service above self.’ I take that to heart.” 

The VON team has heard from clients that they enjoy Bruce’s company and he makes them feel comfortable. “Bruce is a dedicated volunteer,” says Cathy Higdon, VON transportation coordinator. “He is kind and patient. He is very welcoming and easy to speak to. His positive attitude is contagious.”
Bruce is a member of the Rotary Club, and helps to award funds to worthy projects. He also boosts access to food, delivering groceries each week to people in need through The SEED and to students through Food4Kids. He was also a “Big Brother” for 25 years and still sees his “Little Brother,” now in his forties and with kids of his own. For over 30 years, he was a volunteer Santa, bringing joy to children and seniors.

“I’m used to being busy and being on the go,” Bruce says. “I have a vehicle to be able to do it and I enjoy driving so it just seemed like the thing to do.” Through his journeys for VON, Bruce enjoys meeting people and hearing their stories. 

He attributes his commitment to community involvement to his upbringing, when his parents were involved in community initiatives and encouraged him to do so as well. “It’s something that I’ve always done and I just feel it’s natural. I feel good about doing it and I’m happy to do it.”

Bruce sees firsthand the importance of the transportation services that VON provides and how grateful clients are for it. “Almost every time people say ‘thank you, I'm so happy for what you do,’” he notes. “It’s a service that helps people to go to medical appointments, people that are in need and don't have access to be able to get to these places.”

Bruce drives for VON weekly and finds it easy to pick up drives. Volunteer drivers receive a list of drives available a week prior, and can pick out the ones that fit their schedules and location preferences.

Through a local men’s club, Bruce has told other members about his work with VON and has been successful in recruiting another transportation volunteer. He has also encouraged transportation clients to get involved with the men’s club, providing people with increased social and educational opportunities.

For others who are considering volunteering, Bruce says, “Take the step and do it. You get more out of it—people that appreciate what you do, the stories you get to hear and helping others. It’s an all-around good thing to do.”