Ruth Tuffin says she gets as much out of her volunteerism as the people she serves.
The 90-year-old retiree volunteers at the Our Place Society three days a week, serving the less fortunate, of which more than 1,000 Christmas meals she will help serve today.
“I love it down here, I love the people… and they have given me more meaning in my life than ever before,” Tuffin said. “I tell you I volunteered … here for six years and they have been the most fulfilling years of my 90 years.”
Tuffin does whatever needs to be done, picking up garbage, collecting dirty dishes, cleaning tables or serving drinks. She’s here all year round and gets more hugs in her three days a week volunteering at the Our Place Society than she does anywhere else.
“They are just the greatest people,” she said. “I feel more at ease with these people … This is the easiest thing to do in my life.”
Ion (last name withheld) eats a meal at the Our Place Society every day, and said the family members and volunteers –there including Tuffin – give him much more than just the turkey dinner on his plate.
“I choose to come here to meet more people because I am lonely,” Ion said. “It is wonderful, that is all I have to say. I don’t say anything else, that is all I know, all I see, all I hear. This community is the best community here in Victoria.”
VicPD Chief Del Manak, who was also serving meals to the less fortunate, said most are sympathetic and open to providing help because they see themselves in someone who lives in the streets and know they are not here by choice.
“The best part of my week this week was coming here engaging with our residents and our community and showing them we love them,” Manak said. “We care for them and that we are thinking about them.”
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