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To tell the story of Bonnie’s time as a personal support worker at Circle of Care is to basically tell the story of the organization’s entire history.

This year, we celebrate fifty years since Circle of Care was formally established as a nonprofit that supports people in maintaining healthy, joyful lives in their homes and communities. For all but one of these years, Bonnie has been with the agency.

“When I started with Circle of Care in the seventies, it was a much smaller organization,” says Bonnie, who came to Canada from England with a nursing degree. “There was an office in a house on Baycrest Avenue, a few programs like Meals on Wheels, and maybe 10 or 12 of us care workers.”

She fondly remembers many of her co-workers, including a few that have passed away, like Eileen Morgan and Yvonne Greaves. “We were a small team back then. We used to meet and have lunch together,” she says, giving us a peek into the past and the group of staff whose dedication and compassion started it all.

Personal Support Worker Bonnie Sitting and Smiling

Bonnie, a Circle of Care Personal Support Worker for 49 Years

For many of us, it’s hard to imagine how Circle of Care operated before the internet or cellphones, but Bonnie worked for the organization for decades before these technologies came along. “We got our schedules verbally over landlines.”

Over the years, Bonnie saw the organization grow – the name, originally Coordinated Services for the Jewish Elderly, changed to Senior Care and then to Circle of Care; hundreds of new staff came on board; and many new programs, such as Adult Day Program and iRIDE, were launched.

What has stayed the same throughout this time is Bonnie’s remarkable commitment to Circle of Care’s values and to the care she provides.

“I like many things about this job. Most of all, I’ve met some very nice people through the years,” says Bonnie, as she remembers the various clients she supported, including many Holocaust Survivors. “There are stories I’ll never forget.”

Although she works part time now, Bonnie still provides care for one client through Circle of Care: “They are nice people and that’s why I’m still working. It’s the clients.”

Bonnie carries with her the stories, experiences, and memories of the many people she has worked with—clients and coworkers alike. Her journey reflects the very heart and soul of our organization, and is truly an inspiring tale of both personal and communal efforts to make a difference in people’s lives.