Bernice Royce is a member of Circle of Care’s Volunteer Advisory Committee, a volunteer with our Adult Day Program, and sits on the Board of Directors for Circle of Care. She assists the Kosher Meals on Wheels program during special deliveries.
1) What inspired you to begin volunteering for Circle of Care?
My two passions are animal rescue and caring for the elderly. Both are severely ignored and under served. Many years ago, I took over a friend’s route for Kosher Meals on Wheels for two weeks while she was out of the city. The experience was so rewarding and I was immediately hooked!
2) Is there a specific moment you recall while volunteering that made you feel like you made a real difference?
There have been so many moments over the years that have felt like real difference-makers. One moment in particular that I remember was related to my work with Phone Pals. My phone pal called me and told me that she had fallen out of bed and couldn’t move. She didn’t feel comfortable calling anyone other than me. Needless to say, I drove to her place and we went to Mt. Sinai hospital immediately.
When I started volunteering with the Adult Day Program a lovely lady sat by herself and wouldn’t mix with anyone. After making a point of spending time with her, she began to welcome me at the door, and asking where I’d been. Now we have a cup of tea and a cookie every Thursday. It’s our time. I’m so lucky to have such an interesting friend!
3) Has volunteering changed your outlook in any way?
Yes. Volunteering has taught me how lucky I am to be able to be a part of lives of such wonderful people.
4) What makes a good volunteer?
A good volunteer must have the ability to listen. Many elderly people are just dismissed but they have amazing stories. And they need to be heard when they need help as well.
5) What advice would you give to someone who is considering a volunteer position?
You must have a passion for the area you are involved in.
6) What are your interests outside of volunteering?
I love tennis, the ballet, travel, and animal rescue.
7) Do you have any words to live by?
Try to make a difference, however small.
8) What is the most recent book you read?
“The Cats Came Back,” by Sofie Kelly.
9) Where is “home”?
I live in Toronto but as I was born in Liverpool I will always be a proud “scouter.”