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Every month Sarnia Gives & Starbucks Canada celebrate the hard work and dedication that a Sarnia-Lambton community member has shown by giving back. Sarnia & Lambton County This Week is joining us in the celebration by featuring them as well. Sarnia & Lambton County This Week, Friday, December 23, 2011 online & Wednesday, December 21, 2011 in print.
By Heather Linda Young
The "Tuesday Ladies" got their collective name by volunteering weekly for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada in Sarnia.
The women – Barb McEwen, Cheryll Kuhwald and Linda Dobson – have given a combined total of 14 years of volunteering to the organisation, and they don't show signs of stopping.
That is why they are December's Volunteers of the Month, as decided by Sarnia-Lambton's online centre for volunteerism, Sarnia Gives.
"These wonderful ladies spend every Tuesday with us doing just about whatever we throw at them. Along with keeping us organized in the office, we also value their ideas, opinions and feedback, knowing that they have the best interest of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada at heart," wrote their nominator from the organisation.
Dobson began volunteering in 2007, just as her best friend finished treatment for breast cancer. Supporting an organization that funds research to find a cure was very important to her, she said.
Kuhwald, who is a breast cancer survivor, began volunteering with the organisation in 2001. She also served on the board of directors from 2002 to 2004.
She said she "always felt welcome by the staff, and, as a breast cancer survivor, it was a comforting place to be. I also felt like I was making a contribution in the fight against this disease."
McEwen is also a breast cancer survivor, and she has been offering her services to the organisation for the past year-and-a-half.
She said it's important to feel connected to the group with which you're volunteering.
"If you are happy to be offering help to a cause then it`s easy to take on and learn new tasks or offer extra hours of assistance."
Volunteer of the Month is one of the features that the website offers to promote volunteerism in the community.
It's features like those that Jordan Dennis, a member of the local Ontario Trillium Foundation's grant review team, praised at Sarnia Gives' launch Dec. 13.
"Their dedication to helping community members to promote involvement with local not-for-profit and charitable organisation is impressive and inspiring."
OTF announced a $45,000 grant for Sarnia Gives earlier this month.
Sarnia-Lambton MPP Bob Bailey was also on hand to congratulate the group's efforts, saying, "a lot of people – myself included – got their first jobs as volunteers."
Volunteers of the Month are selected by Sarnia Gives and will be featured in Sarnia and Lambton County This Week each month. For more information, or to learn about past winners, visit www.sarniagives.com.