Volunteer Spotlight: Deborah and Chandra
Normally, we highlight one volunteer at a time, but with Deborah Burnham and Chandra Fraser, everyone knows they are a TEAM.
Chandra has volunteered for us for nearly 10 years, and Deborah began volunteering approx. 3 years ago, forced to retire due to a stroke. At that time, she began joining Chandra for work at our offices every Monday.
“When I come here, I’m in a good mood,” Deborah says. “I feel loved and welcomed.”
The duo comes in once a week and work together on a variety of office tasks. For one thing, they, along with another volunteer, Simon, are the main engine propelling our monthly mailing of approx. 400 notices to people whose parking permits are about to expire. It is important work, because these notices dramatically increase the number of people renewing on time, and avoiding a costly traffic ticket.
Chandra: "No such thing as 'can't,' only DO!"
They start work together, and then, as Chandra continues to work on the mailings, Deborah goes her own way and takes care of our dozen or so office plants, and then often works on putting up or taking down our seasonal decorations.
In December, she puts up a sparkling Christmas display; in summer, we have beachballs hanging from the ceiling and sandcastle tools on display; for Victoria Day there are lace and royalty items; and on St Pat’s Day, Green shamrocks and other emerald items. Of course at Easter, the VDRC is graced by bunnies and eye-catching eggs. This was Deborah’s routine for 28 years as she ran her own daycare centre in Langford, and we are happy that she feels inspired to continue the tradition here.
We deeply appreciate all the great work they do for us, but just as much the upbeat way they work together. As they plow through the paperwork, they joke and kid around, and catch each other up on their adventures.
“We know to be professional and also how to have a good time,” Chandra says. They also enjoy problem solving together, she says. “There’s no such word as ‘can’t,’ only DO.”