MELDRUM BAY – Helping others is something that volunteer Diane Jones says has always been a big part of her life, even when she was a youngster.
“If someone needs help and I’m able to help I will do it,” stated Ms. Jones, who resides just outside of Meldrum Bay. “I’ve been like this since I was a kid, I like to help people.”
Ms. Jones is an active volunteer at the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay. “I was volunteering at the nursing home (prior to COVID-19) I had signed up to help bring ladies to the hairdresser. And I have been helping with the monthly ladies’ breakfast.”
“Last year I helped Gloria Hall (activities co-ordinator at Manitoulin Lodge) take residents of the Lodge for a picnic at Obejwung Park, and helped her when residents went to the Christmas concert at the school (Charles C. McLean Public School in Gore Bay),” said Ms. Jones. “And when I am at the Lodge and have the opportunity I like to sit and visit with the residents.”
“I’ve helped out at various community dinners that are put on by Karen Noble, serving and feeding customers. And I have also volunteered to work at craft shows held in the community,” said Ms. Jones.
“Since COVID-19 I call a couple of residents in Meldrum Bay (on a regular basis) to see if they need groceries or anything and I will go get it and deliver it for them,” continued Ms. Jones. “I don’t mind. I’d rather think of helping other people first. I always feel better if I can help someone out.”
Ms. Jones was a registered practical nurse for 41 years. “I was hired on at Manitoulin Lodge in 2008 and stayed until 2016.” And, she had “worked at other nursing homes and retirement homes prior to this.”
Diane and her late husband lived in Sudbury. “He bought our house in 1996 and retired in 1999. He moved here and worked in Sudbury for three years. Then when I retired I moved over here as well.” Unfortunately, Mr. Jones passed away three years ago as of this June.
As a former RPN Ms. Jones said, “Oh yeah, I’ve worked at nursing homes that have had flu outbreaks, but nothing quite like COVID-19. I feel for the staff at the (Manitoulin) Lodge, but they are doing a great job; and I feel sorry for the residents because they won’t get to see anyone, family or friends until this virus is over.”
“Definitely, when COVID-19 is all over I will still keep volunteering at the Lodge. Volunteering is something that I’ve enjoyed since I was young and it will never go away,” added Ms. Jones.