April 24-30 is VOLUNTEER WEEK and we could not be more pleased to announce that Arlene MacGregor is the MOPC’s Volunteer of the Year.
The Churchville resident is described by her nominators as a “stand out volunteer who has the ability to give freely of her time, to organize, to take responsibility and is committed to making her community a better place”.
She started volunteering in 1971 at the age of 15 when she was asked to volunteer as a youth representative on the Church Official Board. She continues to volunteer today with various organizations including the Bridgeville Church Council and Hopewell Pastoral Church; Bridgeville Church treasurer; Churchville Cemetery treasurer; Churchville Community Club Chair; Senior’s Time-Out coordinator for East River Valley, chair/vice-chair of the East River Valley Group; Women’s Institute of Nova Scotia, where she held positions at the provincial level (president), district level (president) and all executive positions at her Churchville branch, currently serving as branch secretary.
She is a CBC Radio Information Morning contact and since she lives on a dairy farm, Arlene is on hand to give farm tours to elementary school children through the Agricultural Awareness Program. In the past when her children were young, Arlene was a 4-H leader in Springville and set the groundwork for the Churchville 4-H Club. She was a Beaver leader, as well as a member of the School Advisory Committee.
One of Arlene’s most recent volunteer projects is Meals on Wheels, which was organized and made happen from Riverton to Lorne, and Plymouth to Churchville. She recruited volunteer drivers and organized the monthly schedule as well as managed to deliver meals herself. Recently, Arlene was asked to serve on the Riverview Home Volunteer Association and holds the position of treasurer.
“Her steadfast volunteer involvement in her community and beyond has brought financial support to her church, community club, cemetery group and senior activities through organizing fundraising events such as suppers in a time where the population is aging, and volunteers are few. Arlene, through her helpful ways, provides the support and knowledge necessary to keep these organizations ongoing,” said Muriel Hines, president of the Churchville Women’s Institute and nominator.
Arlene feels her church, community club and cemetery association have been most affected by her volunteerism. Congregations are small, and there is less involvement in the community, so someone needs to keep these groups active. Funding is scarce so Arlene coordinates and supports fundraising (such as suppers, markets, etc.) to keep these groups afloat.
The most recent project that brings great satisfaction to her is the formation of Meals on Wheels for the communities of East River Valley (Riverton to Lorne), and Plymouth to Churchville. Arlene felt there was a need to make available hot and nutritious meals to seniors twice a week. Meals are prepared at Valley View Villa; schedules are set up and volunteer to deliver meals are all organized by Arlene. Currently, there are more than 25 delivered weekly by 13 volunteers.
“Arlene feels that it is not just the meal that’s the most important aspect of Meals on Wheels, it is the personal contact with the clients,” said Muriel. “When a knock comes on the door, it gives the clients a lift.”
Arlene! She will receive official recognition from the province during a ceremony in the fall.