CNIB Volunteer Archive

Marek Otfinowski

Marek Otfinowski wanted to make a difference in the lives of people in his community. That's when he discovered CNIB and decided to call to find out if there was a need for a volunteer like him.

Through our Vision Mate Program, which provides one-on-one assistance and companionship to an individual who is blind or partially sighted, Marek was matched with Cecil Goulding. The two St John's residents have one big thing in common: they both love all life has to offer.

Photo of Vision Mate Marek and CNIB Client Cecil Goulding
(Photo L-R)  Cecil Goulding & Vision Mate, Marek  Otfinowski

It is a pleasure to spend my couple of hours a week volunteering my time says Marek. "As a vision mate, I get as much out of my interaction with Cecil as he does with me guiding him through one of his favourite recreational activities, bowling."

Cecil says, "Vision Mate is an amazing program driven by volunteers. It gets me out of the house socializing and I enjoy the great conversations with Marek. It's a win-win for both of us. I would highly recommend anyone who is living with vision loss and looking for a friend to call CNIB and ask about the Vision Mate Program."

Darrel Pike


Photo: Darrell teaches braille to CNIB client, Claire Coffin, at family camp.

In 2015 CNIB presented Darrell Pike with the Holly Award - a tribute to Holly Bartlett – an extraordinary young woman and volunteer from Halifax who didn’t let vision loss hold her back from living life to the fullest. This award is presented to exceptional volunteers who capture the spirit of Holly with their generosity, compassion and commitment in serving those with vision loss.

His dedication as a CNIB volunteer plays a major role within the organization, and allows individuals with vision loss to live full, independent lives.

Photo of CNIB Volunteer Darrell Pike recieving the Holly Award

L-R CNIB's Kimberlie Hart, Volunteer, Darrell Pike, receiving the Holly Award and Lynsey Soper, Coordinator, Volunteer Services, CNIB Newfoundland and Labrador.

Contact Volunteer Services to find out what opportunities are available in your area.