Marj Bodnarchuk believes that getting involved within the community as a volunteer is something that everyone should consider and attempt to experience.
“It’s a wonderful way to support the community, keep in touch with people in the community and help build the community,” said Bodnarchuk. “If everybody just stayed in their little spaces and nobody interacted beyond work, life would be really dull.”
Bodnarchuk believes in giving back and she has dedicated her efforts to a variety of organizations and causes over the years. She has continued to volunteer at Wesley United Church for more than 30-years, she was on the fundraising committee for the E. A. Rawlinson Centre before it was built and she continues to lend a hand there on a regular basis. She has volunteered with the Prince Albert Exhibition Association and she also provides musical entertainment at Prince Albert’s Pineview Terrace Lodge and another long-term care home in Shellbrook on a regular basis.
“You can have the best time of your life doing volunteer work,” said Bodnarchuk. “The activities are so much fun, the people you meet are so much fun and at the end of the day you go home and you feel good about everything that is happening.”
Bodnarchuk has lived in Prince Albert since her late teens. She was a nurse at Holy Family Hospital in Prince Albert until it shut down and she continued to work within the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region until she retired last year. Today she still dedicates a great portion of her time to various volunteer initiatives and she encourages others to try and do the same.
“I know that Saskatchewan and Prince Albert in particular have been noted as volunteer paradise areas and people in Saskatchewan and Prince Albert volunteer more per capita then a lot of other areas in Canada,” said Bodnarchuk. “But in recent years we have seen a decline because it was mostly seniors and they are discontinuing because of health reasons.”
Bodnarchuk said she worries about the reluctance of younger people to become involved as volunteers.
“Their lives are very busy and they might be volunteering with their children’s activities and teams and things but there is a low level of the younger age group who are involved in general community things,” she said. “I would encourage these people to maybe when your kids are leaving the nest to consider volunteering some where in the community because there is always a need.”
“The opportunity to volunteer is a really wonderful experience,” she added.
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