Volunteer Appreciation Week: Ann & Jim

April 17, 2023

By: Holly Jones, Volunteer Resources Coordinator

MOSAIC’s senior leader volunteers are some of the most active and lively people that you can have the pleasure of meeting. Two of our key participants are a couple who volunteer in activities together. We wanted to learn how volunteering has impacted their lives, so I met with Ann and Jim, and this is what they had to share.

“Glad to tell our story.

We are a senior couple who met around 50 years ago. During our studying period, we both got a year-long part-time job in a night school. After work, we had to take the same bus back to downtown. Such a good chance to know each other more.

After moving to Vancouver in 2006, we first volunteered with a Taiwanese Buddhist charity. There we learnt people should count their blessings and share with others. But it’s a limited environment, similar to living in Taiwan. We wanted to learn more about our new community and believed we should get involved in society.

Around 2012 MOSAIC’s Rosser site needed a TaiChi instructor, so we both stepped in. It was a huge difference. This led to our speaking more English, and volunteering for more sessions and more events with MOSAIC.

During Covid-19, Andrea, another MOSAIC volunteer, offered choir lessons on zoom for seniors. I was so excited to review many beautiful songs. Jim didn’t like it; he preferred staying at home. I was too satisfied with everything but not Jim. We would quarrel and argue very often.  Finally, he agreed to try the choir group. Obviously, it’s a big challenge, all females, no males, and he hadn’t sung in a very long time. Fortunately, he overcame, settled in.

Since then, we have changed a lot. We have taken training in computers, expressive art, anti-aging, body languages. With the choir we had more performances and activities. Most of us are more open-minded and more confident, and independent since joining the choir.

Believe it or not, volunteering also improved our relationship. Now we have more close friends, similar topics, and events we can share. Sometimes we need to discuss or cooperate. We have no time to get mad or worry about something.

How lucky we are.”

The Seniors Choir has become a lively and passionate group of performers adding movement and storytelling to their performances for a full Musical Theatre Experience. Jim has also inspired more men to join the group expanding their community even broader. Ann and Jim continue to volunteer and lead activities for other seniors and participate in as many activities as they can.

We are truly fortunate to have had Ann and Jim join MOSAIC those years ago. They show us all that age is just a number and does not define us. Volunteering can take us on an amazing journey, build friendships and connect us together in hard times.

April 16-22 is National Volunteer Week. To volunteer at MOSAIC click here for more information.