Brenda Forbes has been volunteering with SOS for approximately 15 years. (Submitted photo)

Brenda Forbes has been volunteering with SOS for approximately 15 years. (Submitted photo)

COVID-19: People continue to volunteer amid pandemic

Forbes: ‘It’s more critical now’

Parksville’s Brenda Forbes continues to volunteer amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as she has done for the past 20 years because she says “it’s more critical now.”

Forbes moved to Parksville 20 years ago from Victoria after retiring and has volunteering with the Society of Organized Services for approximately 15 of those years.

A normal Wednesday for Forbes is spent delivering food with the Meals on Wheels program, something she has continued to do through the pandemic.

“I just find that it puts a smile on the client’s faces… even though now we can’t put the food in the house, but you can kind of say ‘how ya doing?’ and they’re kind of glad to hear from somebody else,” she said. “So, I think it’s really needed more than anything right now.”

READ MORE: National Volunteer Week offers deserved recognition

Forbes said she hasn’t had any second thoughts about continuing to volunteer through COVID-19, and has even started picking up additional shifts as a grocery shopper.

“For a lot of them, under normal circumstances, we’re probably the only ones they get to chat with, if they don’t have any family or anything,” she said. “They’re so grateful.”

While delivering groceries, Forbes said she has really seen how much it means to people. She said she feels lucky to be in the position she is – that she’s able to offer this help in such an important time.

“I do it because I can… to pay it forward and be a part of the community, it’s what I value – the health, safety and security for family, friends and community,” she said. “That’s who I’ve always been.”

George Godfrey, who also volunteers with Meals on Wheels and the grocery shopping program, echoed Forbes’ sentiments.

Godfrey is new to Qualicum Beach, having lived in the area for a year and a half. He said volunteering has helped him get to know the community – something he values throughout COVID-19.

“You just learn a whole lot about the community…everybody has such an interesting story,” he said. “It’s a two-way street, I get a lot out of it as well.”

Godfrey said SOS has done a good job at social distancing protocol and keeping volunteering safe – he said he’s not worried about continuing to go to his volunteer shifts.

“The clients…they’re the vulnerable ones, most often they’re quite elderly so they follow it really strictly, so it’s no problem with the rules,” he said. “As a volunteer, it’s really good, because you really know you’re doing something useful.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits Nanoose Bay property

Experts say interesting look may simply be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

The section of Highway 19A between Laburnum Road and Goodyear Road was closed to traffic due to a single vehicular accident. (DriveBC illustration)
Section of highway closed after vehicle hits pole near Qualicum Beach

Traffic disrupted for hours; two people taken to hospital

Joan LeMoine. (Peter McCully photo)
OPINION: Joan LeMoine represented the very best in all of us

Beloved Parksville area volunteer left an indelible mark on the community

Seiners fill the waters between Comox and Nanoose Bay during roe herring fishery. file photo, Pacific Wild
Quota debate heats up on the eve of Vancouver Island herring fishery

Industry and conservationists weigh in how much catch should be allowed as DFO decision coming soon

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Alberni building owner digs in, refuses to remove illegal trailers

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Most Read