The Good Samaritan Society, a Lutheran Social Service Organization, is a not-for-profit, registered charity with over 65 years of experience providing specialized health and community care services in innovative and caring environments.
Throughout our history, The Good Samaritan Society and Good Samaritan Canada have been built on the kindness, generosity, and commitment of our volunteers. In our care homes, at our events, and across our organization, our volunteers provide the support we need to fulfill our mission. It is because of their tireless effort that we have been able to thrive over the last 74 years, continuing today to offer world-class long term care to those who need it most.
The theme for this year’s National Volunteer Week is Weaving Us Together. Indeed, our volunteers have woven the fabric that binds Good Samaritan together. Read on to learn the stories of some of our standout volunteers below.
Sheril began volunteering at Good Samaritan South Ridge Village when her mother arrived at the facility at 2018. Over the last five years, her compassion, dedication, and willingness to help has made her an invaluable part of our care home. Throughout the pandemic and up to the present day, Sheril has gone the extra mile to help our residents. From helping with outings like South Ridge Village’s bowling tournaments to being a Secret Santa for residents without family support, Sheril truly embodies what it means to be a Good Samaritan in our community. We here at South Ridge Village would like to acknowledge her contributions for the past 5 years and are blessed to have her with us.
Since last November, volunteers Jo Baker and Petra Dyck have been working on a quilt with the residents of Good Samaritan Vista Village. When the quilt is completed, one lucky participant will have their name drawn for the quilt at Vista Village’s annual Mother’s Day Tea. Both volunteers express how much gratitude and joy they feel seeing the happiness on residents’ faces when helping.
Petra also visits Vista Village every Tuesday and assists with the day’s activities (music, outings, gardening, sports/skills, and more). Meanwhile, Jo helps serve ice cream with the Roaring Lions, reads bible stories, and attends our church services once a month. We are very blessed to have these two as part of our Vista family. They make a profound impact on our resident’s lives!
Loretta has been volunteering with Good Samaritan Wedman House and Village since September 2022 and is a great addition to our team. Whether it’s sing-alongs, bingo, or any other activity, Loretta is ready to assist with a smile. At Christmas time, Loretta brought in her singing group to perform and sing Christmas Carols with our residents. Loretta enriches our residents’ lives each day with her dedication, kindness and empathy. Happy to have her onboard!
Over the past year, Joe has been sharing his talents as a musician and speaker with the long term care residents at Good Samaritan Mountainview Village. Twice a week, Joe leads a Worship service where he plays the piano and sings familiar hymns. He then shares an encouraging story and prays for everyone. Joe makes a positive impact each time he is here, nourishing the spirit of our residents.
Isabel is a longstanding volunteer at Good Samaritan Good Shepherd in Wetaskawin, and a valued member of our community. A retired nurse and an avid writer of short stories and poetry, Isabel coordinates the care home’s Writer’s Group and assists residents writing short stories once a week. Additionally, she assists and supports our Pastoral Care team by doing personal visits with palliative care residents. While she believes it is a privilege to come into Good Shepherd and work with the residents, we believe we’re blessed to have Isabel sharing her passion and talents with our community.
Hans Visser and his wife Lena started volunteering at Good Samaritan Linden View as soong as the care home opened, quickly becoming familiar faces with our residents and staff. Hans played a vital part in fundraising for the care home’s wheelchair bike in 2018, now enjoyed by Linden View residents throughout the summer months.
In 2019 Han’s beloved wife Lena passed away, and a few months later COVID lockdowns started. Though volunteers were not able to be on site, Hans still found ways to connect with our residents and staff. He collaborated with pastors and volunteers from various church groups to provide inspirational messages, songs and prayers every week that residents could watch via YouTube until they were able to return in person. Hans recently celebrated his 90th birthday and we wish him a very happy birthday and many blessings.
Antoinette has volunteered at the Good Samaritan Society Dr. Gerald Zetter Care Centre since 2014. In that time, she has worked at the Gift Shop, helped residents on the third floor with meals, tea parties, and venturing outdoors, and most recently has spent time with the care home’s dementia patients. Through her volunteer experience with the elderly, she found a deep connection with those in her family who have experienced challenges as they aged, especially her late grandmother.
“I appreciate the opportunity to volunteer on this great team of volunteers who share their amazing gifts, and I thank all the staff at the Zetter Care Centre for welcoming me and encouraging me as I learned the English language, and the Canadian culture, and allowing me to share my Mexican heritage with others. I would not change it for anything. Thanks to all the volunteer and their special gifts, you are amazing.”
During her gap year after completing her degree in History at the University of Alberta, Anna was seeking a volunteer opportunity that would give her experience with the elderly in a care setting in preparation for her future studies in Social Work. Anna happily engages with residents as she volunteers at the Gift Shop and in the OT Fine Motor Skills small group, where she shares her creativity and talent with various resident projects and activities. Anna also completed the LovingSpoonful Mealtime Companion training, and looks forward to assisting with breakfast for our residents living with dementia.
Anna’s commitment, compassionate nature, and laughter brighten our days, weaving a bond of friendship into her volunteer experience.