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Get to Know a Volunteer: Barbra Fischer

Barbra Fischer is a Friendly Visiting Volunteer with Circle of Care. Learn more about her and the volunteer work that she does in the community.

1) What inspired you to begin volunteering for Circle of Care?

When I chose to begin volunteering for Circle of Care, I was planning my retirement transition from working full time for over 40 years. I wanted to see if this was something I could do and enjoy when I retire. I wanted to find my ‘purpose’ when I retire. While I am still working full time now, when I retire in the next 2 years, I will expect to begin ‘working’ full time as a volunteer for Circle of Care.

2) Is there a specific moment you recall while volunteering that made you feel like you made a real difference?

I recall starting to feel like I was making a real difference from my first visit with my client. She is such a lovely lady and she was so appreciative of me coming to visit her. It was a wonderful feeling to make a difference in simply taking 2 hours of my day once a week to visit someone.

3) Has volunteering changed your outlook in any way?

It has made me realize that we are all vulnerable to old age and every day makes a difference. Live for today, not for yesterday or for tomorrow. Life is too short and too precious.

4) What makes a good volunteer?

To me, a good volunteer is someone who is a good listener, is kind and caring and willing to commit time on a regular, ongoing basis. While my client benefits from me visiting her, I benefit as much as her. Giving kindness is as important as receiving it. My client is close to 95 years old, and I am committed to meet her every week at a regular time for as long as she needs me. Commitment is very important.

5) What advice would you give to someone who is considering a volunteering position?

When I went for my volunteer orientation, I was surprised how many young people were attending. While I never volunteered in my youth, I now realize how much I missed out in giving my time to help others. My advice to others is to start volunteering when you are young and the rewards will be endless!

6) What are your interests outside of volunteering?

Working out is very important to me and my lifestyle. I run and cycle 5 times a week which keeps me fit, maintains my healthy weight and is a ‘de-stresser’ for me. I enjoy spending time with my adult sons and my beautiful 4 year old granddaughter.

7) Do you have any words to live by?

Live for today, not yesterday and not tomorrow. Worry about things that you can control, don’t worry about things out of your control and most importantly, don’t sweat the small stuff!

8) What is the most recent book you read?

My Life So Far, by Jane Fonda.

9) Where is ‘home’?

North York, but I was born and raised in Montreal.

10) Chocolate or vanilla?

Definitely vanilla, especially if it is ice cream.

Are you interested in volunteering with Circle of Care? Learn more about our volunteer opportunities, and submit an application today!