Lara New is a student at the University of Saskatchewan. She was finishing up her first year of a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in cellular, physiological and pharmacological sciences and earning a 90 per cent overall average when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring.
That’s when she decided to use her summer to volunteer for her home community of Swift Current.
“Lara came to me like an angel at a time of desperate need,” said Jolene Reimer, Volunteer Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Health Authority in southwest Saskatchewan. “She volunteered to deliver Meals on Wheels in Swift Current every day in July and August.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no volunteers over the age of 65 were able to help out in Saskatchewan Health Authority programs once the pandemic hit.
“The restrictions left us with less than 10 per cent of our Meals on Wheels volunteers able to continue delivering meals,” Reimer noted.
Meals on Wheels is an essential service that many home care clients rely on to provide hot or prepared meals regularly, ensuring the clients receive balanced meals and proper nutrition.
“With the pandemic, I was not able to find a job and wanted to use my time to help others and give a hand during this very difficult time,” Lara said.
Her advice to others? “Volunteering is definitely worth it. It helps you learn new skills, meet new people and makes you feel really good knowing that you are helping other people, especially now in a time of isolation.”
Lara also volunteered at the Salvation Army Food Bank this summer. Now that she has returned to university studies, she has reached out to offer to continue volunteering.
“I have been really missing delivering meals,” she told Reimer, volunteering to delivery once a week.
“She’s an awesome young lady,” Reimer noted.
The SHA is always looking for volunteers. If anyone has some time during the noon hour please contact your local Volunteer Services Coordinator or click on the link to become an SHA Volunteer.