Volunteering at the Mont Bruno United Church: Bettering the Community One Step at a Time
by tasiags on May 15, 2014 - 2:16am
While following what’s been going on in the news for the past semester, I realized that as a society, we still face multiple contemporary issues regarding different “categories”, such as human rights, youth, the environment, education, and health. While all the news summaries and research I did greatly developed my knowledge and broadened my perceptions with respect to regional, national, and international news, the issue regarding elderly abuse caught my interest.
First and foremost, based on the organization Help Guide, elderly abuse is the harm or discrimination against elders by people who are meant to take care of them. Elderly abuse has several different forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, as well as “neglect or abandonment by caregivers”. While doing my weekly research, three specific stories stood out and help in expanding my understanding of the issue. The first was the alarming problematic with CHSLDs in Quebec, where hundreds of elderlies in our society and community were suffering from neglect, discrimination, and abuse. The second striking news story was one that tackled the issue of elder financial abuse, where a 94-year-old elderly woman was defrauded of all her life savings by a Toronto couple. Finally, the third news story was the creation of the first seniors advocate position in Canada. These three stories are relevant to the understanding of the issue as they all underline the importance of raising awareness with regards to elder abuse in order to protect their fundamental human rights.
Thus, in order to help the elders in my community that are suffering from neglect, discrimination, and/or abuse, to raise awareness concerning the issue, as well as to incite the younger generation to also contribute to the betterment of society, I chose to volunteer at the Mont Bruno United Church. Originally, I had planned to go to elders’ houses that are unable to do their yard work or gardening and do it for them, as I have a particular skill in exterior landscaping and I love doing manual work. However, because the ground was frozen at first, and because of all the rain, which made the ground difficult to work in, and due to conflicting schedules, I was only able to help with the landscaping in front of the church. More specifically, I helped with the gardening of two flowerbeds by cutting/taking out the part of the flower that was dead and I planted new flowers. While my volunteering didn’t necessarily directly affect elders that are neglected or abused, it helped the elderly community as they didn’t need to take care of the church gardening themselves and it raised awareness concerning elderly abuse while incenting the younger generation (people my age) to contribute to the betterment of society by engaging in such activities. As I didn’t have the opportunity of helping a specific elderly person’s situation, I definitely plan on doing so this summer (Will update my post once I have done so). Furthermore, although my volunteering doesn’t have as big as an impact and influence as Canada’s creation of the first seniors advocate position, it still contributes to raising awareness concerning elderly abuse and it also contributes to the betterment of society as a whole.
Finally, although I did not have the opportunity of helping the elders as much as I would have liked, I still enjoyed my volunteering. It felt great to know I was contributing to the betterment of my community and improving the church’s outdoor esthetics. I posted pictures of before and after of my “landscaping work”, but there isn’t much to see as the plants and flowers haven’t blossomed yet. I will update my post with new pictures over the summer!