“Volunteering at Seasons Centre for Grieving Children provides a deep sense of gratitude for the existence of the Centre. The exceptional staff use their time and talents to train volunteers and to provide opportunities for children to work out emotions following the death of a loved one. Children talk about their loss openly or at other times reveal their grief through play or art, and hopefully heal a little at a time.

My association with Seasons Centre began in 2005 when I inquired about being a group session buddy. My schedule didn’t allow me to make the consistent time commitment required so I asked what else I could do. The ‘what else’ has filled the last several years and has been varied and wonderful. I have volunteered for fundraising events such as BBQs, gift wrapping, a pool-a-thon at Doolys, golf tournaments, Southern Cruisers poker runs, Halloween Haunts, and of course the elegant annual gala. Two events stand out illustrating that there is a volunteering opportunity for every interest. The first was participating in an ice fishing tournament run by the Barrie Builders Association with the proceeds going to Seasons. A cold day, but so much fun and a totally new experience. The second event was just a laugh when members of the Southern Cruisers Motorcycle Club donned tutus and collected money for Seasons at Bayfield Mall. Quite the sight as you can imagine, Bayfield Mall shoppers had to make a contribution!

I also volunteer on the reception desk answering the phones and in less busy times I have helped to maintain computer files, prepare program activities, stuff envelopes and wash rocks. One year I filled in as a camp volunteer and I will always remember the emotions during the morning’s open circle when the children spoke about the loved on they had lost.

As you can see, volunteering at Seasons takes many forms. If you wish to volunteer and have a particular interest, Seasons can accommodate your choice. I would encourage you to take the first step and call Seasons to ask how you can help such a vital organization.

Over the years I have contributed financially to various fundraising events. This year I decided to make a personal donation. Seasons receives no provincial assistance and relies solely on donations and funds raised. I was rewarded with a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I was helping children to cope with the most difficult time in their lives and move past the pain and look to the future with hope.

Volunteering is a gift that gives so much to the volunteer.”

See you at Seasons,

Jane Shiells