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

COVID-19: People continue to volunteer amid pandemic

Parksville’s Brenda Forbes says 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 


Just Posted

A sentencing hearing began for Joel Conway who was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault last year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saanich man sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into woman’s home and sexually assaulting her

Crown is asking Joel Conway be sentenced to four years for both charges, to be served concurrent

Victoria fire crews quickly extinguished a multi-unit apartment building fire near Beacon Hill Park on Oct. 30. (Courtesy of Chief Paul Bruce)
Victoria fire crews extinguish multi-unit fire near Beacon Hill Park

Two people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries

Elianna Tory, 5, was surprised with a brand new toy Jeep by 642 Jeeps, a group of off-roading enthusiasts, after hers was stolen outside her home in early October. (Andrew Gaetz photo)
Sooke girl left speechless after Island off-road community replaces stolen toy Jeep

Sooke area Facebook group hunted far and wide before locating new toy in Vernon, BC

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Julia Strobach. File Photo
Nearing seventh anniversary, Comox Valley RCMP continue search for Julia Strobach

“We know that someone has information that will help us locate her.”

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

John Albert Buchanan, accused in the September 2017 murder of Richard Sitar in Nanaimo, is currently standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Man accused in Nanaimo beating death told police he didn’t hurt victim

Arresting officer takes the stand in John Albert Buchanan’s second-degree murder trial

Most Read