Jill Boucher, CNIB Volunteer
CNIB Volunteer’s – Ordinary people with an extraordinary commitment to making a difference in their communities.
Everyday CNIB volunteers play a big role in helping CNIB meet its mission of enhancing independence for people with vision loss and to be the leader in promoting vision health. CNIB volunteers share their life experiences in a variety of ways. Some, like Jill Boucher, a volunteer with CNIB since 2005, enjoy the hands on approach of the friendly visitor program. A program that reaches out to the community and provides home visits by trained volunteers for purposes of companionship and support.
In October 2008, Michael Bell, a CNIB client requested a volunteer to assist him with his weekly grocery shopping. Cathy Schlichter, Coordinator, Volunteer Services with CNIB instantly thought of Jill. “Jill is the type of person who has a big heart and is always there to support CNIB. I knew that she wanted to experience providing more direct support to people with vision loss and felt this would be the “perfect match”.” When approached, Jill enthusiastically accepted the assignment and the rest as they say is history! After receiving training, Jill began volunteering with Michael primarily for purposes of helping him with his shopping and she is a big part of Michael Bell’s life.
Jill and Mike meet regularly at Tim Horton’s prior to their shopping trip. There they review the list and Jill provides Michael with any updated sales and they decide their “shopping strategy”. Along with vision loss, Michael lives with Muscular Dystrophy and relies on a wheelchair to get around. This can present challenges for him when he has to reach for items on the upper shelves and at the same time push a cart. Jill assists Michael in identifying products. After the shopping trip, Jill helps Mike put away the groceries, check the fridge for outdated products and suggest things he may need in the future.
Mike say’s “She is very good at suggesting new things, she checks for expiry dates so that I don’t eat anything that has spoiled and she has helped me to take better care of myself and she even helps me take inventory at home so I don’t buy too much of anything. Having Jill as a friendly visitor has improved my quality of life immensely”
Jill say’s “It feels so good to know each day I am making a difference in someone else’s life. My time at CNIB gives me more than I could express in words. I am helping others and in return, I am learning so much about living with vision loss. I would recommend volunteering with CNIB to anyone.”
If you are interested in being a friendly visitor with CNIB or wish to learn more about the different types of volunteer opportunities, contact your local CNIB Centre at (506) 634-7277.