While she was a teacher in Wynyard, Linda Yaskowich always said when she retired, she would volunteer at Golden Acres, the long term care home which is part of the Wynyard Integrated Hospital.
It was a specific goal that Yaskowich believes makes sense for her. “I feel the people at the home need people to visit and help them do activities,” she says. “Wynyard has been a good community to me and my family. It’s also the way I was brought up by my mother. My mother and maternal grandmother were big influences in my life and we were always taught you help other people.” She retired in June 2011 and within two months of retirement, she was applying to volunteer at the home.

Linda Yaskowich visits with a resident of Golden Acres Care Home in Wynyard.

Linda Yaskowich visits with a resident of Golden Acres Care Home in Wynyard.

Yaskowich is among a group of volunteers who spend hours each week working with residents of Golden Acres to help the recreation director deliver activities. Bridget Wedhorn is the volunteer co-ordinator who is proud of the groups and individuals who come in to help. “Churches do services here weekly. Bands from the community come in every Friday to entertain residents,” she explains. “And we have junior volunteers from the high school who also come in throughout the year to help.”

But it’s the familiar faces like Yaskowich that Wedhorn and the residents rely on seeing each week. “They assist residents with bingo, they play card games, do some portering, and they visit,” says Wedhorn. “They are wonderful!”

Wedhorn is hoping stories like Yaskowich’s will entice others to come forward and volunteer. “We don’t want to wear out these dedicated individuals,” she stresses.

Yaskowich has tried to share the joy with her friends. And she’s happy that some of them have come on board to read and visit with residents. “People love to have visitors. They appreciate that.” And she hopes, like her mother and grandmother did for her, she can influence her children and grandchildren to also give back to their community.

“It is better to give than to receive. If you can give a little bit of happiness to someone, it gives you a warm feeling inside.”

To volunteer at Wynyard Integrated Hospital and Golden Acres Care Home, please contact Bridget Wedhorn 306-554-3312, extension 2. To volunteer within Saskatoon Health Region, please visit our website at http://www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/your_health/ps_volunteer_services.htm.