For elders and youngsters alike, Jessica Sampson loves to volunteer

SHESHEGWANING—Jessica Sampson has been a long-time organizer of the annual Terry Fox Run on Western Manitoulin but is also a person who is always willing to help and support members of her own and other communities, elders and youngsters.

“I still volunteer (as the organizer) for the Terry Fox Run (in Silver Water),” Ms. Sampson told The Expositor, something she has done since 2008. “They shifted gears during the pandemic and instead of in-person runs the last couple of years, donations were made online.”

“I also do volunteer work in the community in several areas,” said Ms. Sampson. “For instance, helping out a person who is immuno-compromised in the community, I will take them meals every night.”

“We make the food and we deliver the food,” she quipped. She also provides this unstructured ‘meals on wheels’ program for her brother and her grandmother. “It is a joy to do this type of thing. And, for instance, sometimes my grandmother is not home when I drop off a meal; but she will text me the next day and say ‘I had my lunch and it was so good.’

“I am always happy to be able to check in on my brother every day, and make sure he has a good meal and make sure he has taken his daily medication,” said Ms. Sampson. “I also go into town (Gore Bay) for him every week and I will pick up his and my grandmother’s groceries.” 

Ms. Sampson, who works in the Sheshegwaning band administration office, explained, “when I’m at work I do like to tend the community garden at the back of the administrative office, weeding and other work that needs to be done.”

“I am always trying to encourage and get people to go out on walks or work in the garden,” continued Ms. Sampson.

“I like to help out with making and helping others get things ready with the Easter egg hunt for kids in the community,” said Ms. Sampson. “I like to take time and spend time with kids in the community. It can be with a group or individually. For instance, I will take them to Providence Bay for the Fall Fair, load them up in my car and pay their entrance fee when we get there; just let them have the experience of being at the fair. When I was a kid, the Providence Bay Fair always signalled the end of the summer. And to see a kids’ face light up when they get to the fair is incredible.”

“A lot of the time, these kids are willing to open up and discuss things that they have bottled up about what is happening at school or at home. Sometimes it’s easier for kids to talk to another parent rather than their parents.”

“Youth deserves all the help, support and encouragement they can get,” said Ms. Sampson, who said “maybe its as simple as taking them on a walk on the boardwalk in Gore Bay or on a trip to Sudbury.”

“I like to do a lot of volunteering for the youth and elders of the community,” she said.

“Any time I can help someone and volunteer, it makes my heart sing. It is very rewarding,” stated Ms. Sampson.