National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to share the impactful stories of volunteers who weave us together – volunteers who bring Hope Close to Home in Southwestern Ontario for people impacted by Parkinson’s disease.

“Each role affords me an opportunity to do the things I like to do with the people I enjoy…. my peers living with Parkinson’s.”

Meet Bill

Volunteer Location: Cambridge

Please share three words you would use to describe yourself.

welcoming; family man, nonjudgmental

Tell us a little bit about yourself

50 + years volunteering for a variety of youth and community organizations. Life-long Learner… Married 43 years – Four adult children, eight grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren. Retired at age 62 due to Parkinson’s diagnosis and have never looked back. Enjoy travel, meeting new people, family time and good friends. Discovered Parkinson’s didn’t mean my life was over… it meant I would face new challenges as I grew older and I still had a lot of life to live and share with others..

What interested you about becoming a volunteer at PSSO?

I needed to better understand my Parkinson’s and volunteering allowed me to meet new people, have a purpose, share my experiences while learning from those I interact with. Being active doing what I love to do.

How long have you been volunteering with PSSO?

Almost a year.

Tell us more about your volunteer experience with PSSO and how you are involved?

As a facilitator for the Cambridge / North Dumfries monthly meeting; assist in Training; participate in social activities and speak to or about the organization from time to time. I participate in the Parkinson’s Choir and have taken several other education programs offered. Each role affords me an opportunity to do the things I like to do with the people I enjoy…. my peers living with Parkinson’s.

What is something unique or interesting about you that others may not know?

I have a double C.A.E. designation. “Certified Adult Educator” from O.I.S.E. “Credited Association Executive”.

Through the years I have received several awards in recognition of my volunteer work including the “Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal Award”.

What do you enjoy about volunteering and what motivates you to continue?

The stories I hear from others about their life and sharing mine. Each person is truly a book waiting to

be written. Working with people during times of trauma (my past volunteer roles), and seeing their outlook change from hopelessness to one of having hope and the growth they experience on their journey, is the most meaningful part of my time shared as a volunteer. With facilitating with PSSO it is being a living example that while “I have Parkinson’s / Parkinson’s does not have me”.

Are there any special memories from your time volunteering with PSSO?

While my time with PSSO has been short, each person I’ve met has reinforced my belief that living with Parkinson’s is not an end, but the beginning of a new chapter in my life. One that can still be full of awesome times, great people and the making of meaningful memories.

See More Volunteer Stories

Meet a few of the people behind bringing Hope Close to Home

National Volunteer Week