Sharlene Peterson

 Sharlene Peterson has been volunteering with Community Connect since 2019. Community Connect is a program that provides safety and connection to Senior’s in our community through regularly schedule phone calls and social interactions.

Sharlene also currently volunteers at schools reading to young people who need help developing their reading and English skills. “Volunteering gives you a good feeling,” she says. “If you’re having a poor day, you can just make someone’s day better,” and that helps her feel better in kind.

Giving back her community and others is important to Sharlene, and she challenges herself when working with someone who is having a difficult time, to help that person have a better day and feel more positive. It’s a win-win situation. “There is so much in the world that doesn’t make one feel good, but one always feels good when they help someone.”

Another important aspect of volunteering is that it has a way of humanizing those who she might have otherwise overlooked. It allows her to connect and associate with those she may not have while developing compassion for others in more difficult or unfortunate situations. Volunteering has shown Sharlene that you don’t need a lot of common ground to build a relationship, just an invested interest in getting to know the other person.

Sharlene was inspired to give back by her mother who gave a lot of time to her neighbors and the people around her by baking
for them and helping in her community. Her mother was always able to see the positive side of things, something she passed on to Sharlene and which serves her well in her volunteering with LSCO.

She says if someone wants to volunteer, they have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing so. People often underestimate the difference they can make in someone’s life and the community in general, so she encourages everyone to give it a try.

Barb Dodd

Barb Dodd had always wanted to devote more time to volunteering within the Lethbridge community, but being a busy mom
raising kids, helping with the PTA, and working did not leave her enough time for all of the volunteer work she wanted to do.

However, volunteering is in her blood, having come from a small town that relied heavily on local volunteers, so she decided after retirement to donate her time to our Drive Happiness Program and the Good Samaritans.

Barb really enjoys working with and helping the seniors here in our community and knows that sometimes seniors can become the forgotten people of society. It’s important to her that she does what she can to help them feel cared for and supported. After all, she says “we will all be there one day.” Having lost her grandparents, spending time with seniors can feel a bit like having grandparents again, and she truly values that.

Also, she is sometimes able to bring her adult son who is special needs when she drives, which allows for meaningful interaction and connection for both her son and the seniors she drives for.

Barb says it’s always interesting and entertaining to hear the stories of those she drives for; she’s even been serenaded, having one person sing her rendition of Mercedes Benz by Joni Mitchell during a trip! Ultimately, she enjoys giving her time while getting to know and connect with those she drives for.

The flexibility of the scheduling of Drive Happiness makes it easy to negotiate her many recreational activities around her volunteering. According to Barb, if you’re looking for something that is flexible and allows you to give back, driving for Drive Happiness is the way to go!

Veronica Panich

Veronica has been volunteering with LSCO for 8 years doing dishes, food prep, bingos, and (more recently) sitting on the Board of Directors.

She considers LSCO to be her second family and loves to watch the groups of seniors coming together here at the center to find a sense of community and belonging. Veronica started volunteering at LSCO right after her retirement as a way to keep busy and engaged. “I knew that if I didn’t have something planned to do, I would just sit at home and watch TV.” Since she had been volunteering in the community since she was in her early 20’s, taking on volunteer roles in retirement was a logical step.

Seeing our member’s smiling faces and having the chance to turn someone’s bad day into a good day with a smile and a kind
word are some of her motivations for volunteering here.

She sees a lot of men and women with spouses who have moved on gathering at LSCO regularly to talk and socialize, and
she honestly feels like if LSCO wasn’t here, these people wouldn’t have a place to go. “It’s so important to be with people,” she
says, and she loves how we encourage people to be together and support one another.

Veronica says that she hasn’t found one person here who she can’t see some good in, and that she always tries to look for the
positive when she can. Veronica’s late husband got her into volunteering nearly 40 years ago. She started with Sparks (Girl Guides Canada) because her husband volunteered for Beavers, and they continued volunteering in the community from then on.

Her message to anyone looking to volunteer is that they should come to LSCO and talk to the volunteer team because we can always use people. “It’s selfless but not,” she says, because while we are helping people, it also gives a great feeling.

Thanks, Veronica, for all that you do here at LSCO. 

To nominate a volunteer for the spotlight series, contact the volunteer team.

Jon Joyce

Jon and his partner in crime, Toby the dog, have been volunteering for LSCO for about a year now as regular drivers for the Meals on Wheels program.

Jon moved from Ontario last year where he also volunteered with a community Meals on Wheels program there. Before that, Jon drove semi-trucks across Canada and the United States and enjoyed his travels to Alberta. After his mother passed away, Jon decided it was time to give Alberta living a try.

As many of our volunteers, Jon is a dependable asset to the volunteer team. On top of supporting the Meals on Wheels program, Jon has become one of the go to guys for random tasks such as helping with the recycling and making other important deliveries to seniors in the community.

Jon is ALWAYS willing to give of his time to support the LSCO and other organizations in the Lethbridge community. Jon learned from his experiences looking after his aging parents the importance of seniors being able to age in place and live in their homes as long as possible, if that is what they wish to do.

Jon explained that Meals on Wheels is a cause that he supports and is passionate about and for Jon it’s not only about getting those nutritious meals to the clients, but also a friendly visit. Jon says, “it can be lonely when you’re by yourself. Just going door to door and saying “Hello” for some of these people it is the only time they get to see somebody.”

Jon really goes above and beyond when he delivers the meals on his route; he enjoys hearing about the history and stories from the people he meets. Jon mentioned that one older gentleman he delivers to enjoys keeping him up to date and informed about the Calgary Flames hockey team. Jon’s favourite thing about volunteering with LSCO Meals on Wheels is getting to meet and know people, plus he enjoys driving around the city with Toby – Toby likes it too!

Jon attributed his inspiration for generously giving his time as a volunteer to his grandparents and parents. His Grandparents went through the great depression and his grandfather was very giving to those who were struggling. His Dad started working at about 14 years old and had an amazing work ethic that he passed on to Jon. Yet, the most profound experiences that inspires and continues to motivate Jon to give, was helping care for his aging parents – His mother graduated from this life about 5 years ago, and his father 15 years before that from Alzheimer’s.

Jon emphasized, “It’s not a job. Volunteering is enjoyable.” Jon explained, “I think giving back to the city is important, because at some point in your life – down the road – you might need that support…. Volunteering at LSCO, everything is very organized and well structured. It only takes an hour and the routes are planned out for you… It’s just an hour a day. It’s nice to get out and meet people.”

Jon has truly been a pleasure to work with; his willingness to step in and fill a need is heartwarming; he is truly a volunteer
superhero here at LSCO and in the community of Lethbridge.

To nominate a volunteer for the spotlight series, contact the volunteer team.

Vonda Giroux

Vonda has been volunteering at LSCO since July of 2023 when her daughter told her that she should get out of the house and meet people — something Vonda took to heart.

Since then, she’s become an indispensable member of our volunteer team filling any shifts she can, preparing meals for the
Meals on Wheels program, washing dishes, and prepping the food for the diner, but also doing anything else asked of her. After all, as she says, “I don’t like to be bored!”

While it was the social aspect of volunteering that brought her to LSCO, the chance to meet new people, make a difference in her community, and enjoy a purpose to the day are what keep her coming back.

In fact, working in the kitchen has become something she’s excited to do. Vonda genuinely looks forward to waking up at 6:00am on those days she comes to volunteer because she enjoys the experience so much! It is important to be of service to the community which is something Vonda strongly believes in. “Volunteering makes you feel good,” she says, and it means a
lot to her to be able to help with the food preparation for Meals on Wheels especially because she finds it meaningful and a
privilege to be able to truly help those in need.

Having experienced what it’s like to not have enough help with things, Vonda always makes it a point to go above and beyond in her volunteering by helping with extra cleaning, dishes, meal prep, and events. She is also a mentor to other volunteers, assisting with their training and helping them to feel welcome and part of the team.

Truly, Vonda is one of our bright stars here at LSCO; we are grateful to have her here, and happy that the volunteer experience
has been so positive for her.

To nominate a volunteer for the spotlight series, contact the volunteer team.


Many of the programs at LSCO are run with the help of wonderful and dedicated volunteers. As a show of appreciation, we wanted to highlight one of our many hardworking volunteers.

Jerry has been an LSCO volunteer since 2019. After taking a break to be a caregiver to his mom, Jerry is back volunteering with us in the kitchen. Jerry has been a tremendous help these past couple months from helping us train new volunteers to
staying back and helping us out when we are short staffed.

Jerry’s main motivation for volunteering with the LSCO is making connections with others and giving back to the community.
He also enjoys working with the kitchen staff who he can joke around with. Jerry’s advice for new volunteers is to give it a shot. Volunteering at the LSCO is an experience that is rewarding and uplifting.

For Jerry, volunteering at the LSCO is something to smile about everyday.

To nominate a volunteer for the spotlight series, contact the volunteer team.