Office Hours: Monday to Thursday 9:00am to 4:00pm
Making good things happen in our community!

Volunteer Stories

 Volunteers are the heart of Beaver Valley Outreach. BVO would not have survived more than 30 years without hundreds of volunteers who have given generously of their time and care, talents and skills, energy and ideas.

Without dedicated volunteer hours, too many to count, BVO would not be the dynamic organization that it has become, filling gaps in services and caring for the diverse needs of individuals and families in our community.

  1. Why did you become a volunteer at BVO?
  • "I was invited and I responded to the invitation!"
  • "I had a desire to become involved in the community and it worked!"
  • "The philosophy of BVO appealed to me."
  • "I wanted to be part of the organization because I liked what BVO does and for whom."
  • "When I retired I promised myself I would do volunteer work, and I found BVO."
  • "I found BVO on the Chamber site and liked what I saw there, so I phoned and offered my services  and became a member of the Silent Auction Committee. What a wonderful group!"
  • "I always wanted to run a second hand shop & and The Treasure Shop at BVO beckoned me!"
  1. What are the benefits of being a BVO volunteer?
  • "For me, I am able to support the community at grass roots level."
  • "I get to meet all kinds of people who enjoy working together in The Treasure Shop. It is where I have the most fun!"
  • "As a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of BVO, I found a way to bring skills from a previous life to bear in the organization."
  • "I wanted to do some things I did NOT do in my previous life& and I found BVO!"
  • "As a newcomer to the area, community involvement and meeting people was a priority for me. I have experienced both in volunteering here."
  • "The reorganization of The Treasure Shop afforded me an opportunity to discover my organizational skills, and to work with people in creating a more effective space for volunteers and shoppers."
  • "I was hoping to get to know people and to make a few friends. Here as a volunteer I have a sense of belonging to a diverse community."
  • "I had a need to do something useful, to put my energy into something. Besides that, I look forward to the companionship and to working alongside like hearted souls."
  • "It beats sitting at home looking out the window!"
  • "I was afraid I'd be bored with my move to the country. Since becoming involved at BVO that concern has disappeared. Now there are not enough hours in the day!"

Volunteering at BVO sounds like a good idea. Help keep the ball rolling by volunteering your time and energy to "making good things happen in our community." It may be good for you! It will certainly be good for BVO!


Get to know some of our volunteers

by Rita Mary Cote Being a Volunteer Creates Opportunities , Nov 2006

It has often been said that volunteers are the heart of Beaver Valley Outreach. That's because it's TRUE! BVO would not have survived 25 years without hundreds of volunteers who have given generously of their time and care, talents and skills, energy and ideas.

Without dedicated volunteer hours, too many to count, BVO would not be the dynamic organization that it has become, filling gaps in services and caring for the diverse needs of individuals and families in our community.

Rita Mary Cote, Past President - Board of Directors and 2003 Volunteer of the Year.

Rita Mary Coté was chosen from among many as BVOs Volunteer of the Year. Rita has been a member of BVO for 12 years and currently sits as Chair of the Board of Directors. Her numerous contributions to this organization include many years as Treasurer and organization of 8 Silent Auctions! Apart from her work with BVO, Rita Mary has devoted her time and talents to Partners for Affordable Housing and to the development of a local chapter of Life Long Learning. And who else could possibly bring 35 individuals together to participate in discussions about scripture? Adult education is Rita Mary's second love. Needless to say her first is our community. Hats off to you Rita Mary!

Ted Decorso, 2006 Volunteer of the Year, Town of Blue Mountains

Ted is one of our community partners who is completely dedicated to "making good things happen in our community."

In 1996, Ted together with Teresa Pearson, came up with an idea for a community dinner on Thanksgiving weekend for people who might otherwise be eating alone. This first dinner was held in the lower level of Grace United Church and through the efforts of local chiefs about 25 people were fed and enjoyed their comrades. Last year Ted and Sherrie Lee from BVO organized and prepared the 10th Annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner where over 750 people dined, were musically entertained and celebrated thanks together.

Without Ted's assistance in past years, BVO's annual volunteer picnic would have been less delicious! Although he is unable to be with us this year as an organizer and a chief, we hope he will be dropping by for a nibble. And speaking of "nibbles", Ted has been a motivating force for the food drive from Georgian Peaks benefiting the BVO emergency food supply.

We know at BVO that Ted is always thinking of the community with a special focus on children. He doesn't rest until the job is done. He is an idea man whom you can count on to follow through. The entire BVO family celebrates this worthy recognition of Ted's efforts to enhance the welfare of our citizens and our community. Congratulations dear friend!

Mary Johnston, Volunteer - Director, Board AND Treasure Shopand Volunteer of the Year 2001

Mary Johnston was selected as Volunteer of the Year [2001] in the Town of the Blue.  Mary has been involved with BVO for the last 10 years.  These days at BVO you can find Mary in the Treasure Shop, but she was previously involved with the Breakfast Program. Among other volunteer work, Mary sat on the Board of Marsh Street Centre.  She sings in the choir at St. Vincent's in Meaford and helps out with many other church functions. Her nursing skills allowed her to do hospice work in Collingwood and to provide transportation for hospice patients. She is a proud mother and grandma. Her friends consider her reliable, fun, flighty and faithful!

Barbara Swanson, Transporation and Breakfast Club Volunteer Coordinator and Volunteer of the Year Award 2011

In 1981, Barb and Norine Baron got together to begin the process of incorporating Beaver Valley Outreach. They began to draft by-laws and discuss policies and procedures. Barb sat on the Board of BVO from the mid 1980s until 2002. She took over the organization of BVO drivers in about 1984 from Hazel South. At that time, BVO was only servicing the needs of local citizens who needed a ride to the doctor, the dentist, the lawyer, the grocery store or other general appointments. In 1994, Home and Community Support Services asked BVO to address the transportation needs of seniors and persons over the age of 18 with a disability. Barb became the coordinator for all these required drives.

Currently, she coordinates schedules for 22 drivers. Home and Community Support Services in Markdale obtains the police check and verifies required insurance coverage for new drivers. Barb sat on the Board for Home and Community Support Services for 7 years. Other BVO activities, which Barb has been involved with over the years include the auction and the Christmas hampers. Thanks for your many years of service!


Wanda Winters, BVO Volunteer of the Year - 2006

Known to many of us at BVO as Wonderful Wanda, she was one of the original community activists who recognized a need for Beaver Valley Outreach. Back in the early 1980s Wanda was a Kindergarten teacher and she frequently visited the basement of Muriel Shaw - first home of the BVO Clothing Depot, to collect hats, mitts, shoes and boots for school children who needed those things to keep away the winter chill.

When the idea of providing Christmas hampers to families in our community who could benefit from a helping hand was first crystallized, Wanda helped to identify those families. Additionally, she brought to the attention of many families the opportunities for subsidized summer camp programs for children.

Over the years, Wanda has had a variety of involvement with BVO. She helped to kick start Breakfast Club. She offered her teaching expertise to the School's Cool program. Her love of crafts has helped in the Treasure Shop where she matches toys with books for our Book Buddy Kits. She is BVO's official archivist. She has been involved for a number of years in the Christmas Hamper preparations and in 2006 she coordinated this event as well as the Firefighters Food Drive! Wanda has been a Board member of BVO. She continues in her archival duties and still volunteers in the Treasure Shop and as a member of our Volunteer Committee.

There is no doubt that Wanda is at the very heart beat of BVO and her efforts to make our organization an asset in our community are not over yet! Congratulations Wanda, we will always call you "wonderful"!