• James Parry

Volunteering at Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence a family affair for the Javeris

PHOTO BY SUSAN BEDNARSKI While working in different departments and at different times, Farouk and Zach Javeris are volunteers extraordinaire at the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence in Hudson.

First conceived in Canada 72 years ago, National Volunteer Week (April 12-18) was created as a way to celebrate the contribution made by women on the home front to the war effort. And today, it is celebrated by millions throughout the country in recognition of the invaluable community volunteerism shown year round by individuals young and old alike.

One excellent example of this is St. Lazare resident, Farouk Javeri, who turns 75 years young later this year, and his 15-year-old grandson, Westwood Senior High student, Zach Javeri. Both of whom volunteer at the Vaudreuil-Soulanges Palliative Care Residence in Hudson, Farouk at the reception desk and Zach in the kitchen where he preps food and prepares the trays for delivery to residents.

“The reason I volunteer there is that I am retired and while I was working I was supported and helped by all the people around me to make a good living and fantastic career since 1975,” Farouk told Your Local Journal this week. Added Farouk who, after selling Mercedes vehicles in his native Pakistan, would go on to sell Volkswagens in different dealerships here in the region, as well as working with Canadian Tire towards the end of his career, “Now it is my time to do something in return for the community that helped me and give my time to others and support the VSPCR. It is a rewarding experience and I am proud to be working with so many like-minded volunteers.”

Including, obviously his grandson, who became involved about 18 months ago. Said Zach, “The reason I volunteer is because my grandfather volunteers. And I figured that if he could do it, so could I. I started because of the free time I had and each time I went I had a new experience with an amazing staff and incredible people.” In yet another example of his commitment to volunteerism, Zach is also very involved with his school’s Bridge to Burundi, a student run initiative that fundraises money in order to aid a town in the country of Burundi called Rwoga.

Explained Zach, “We have built the children of Rwoga a school and have provided them with a pipeline of fresh water so far. In the future, we plan to build more classrooms for the students and build a medical centre for the residents there.” It would appear that, for the Javeris, volunteering with the VSPCR is truly becoming a family affair. For Zach’s Mom, Elizabeth Charasieis, a dental hygienist who also lives in St. Lazare, plans on helping too with an interview set up for early next week. Together, they will join about 250 volunteers currently giving their time, expertise, and dedication to the Residence in many different ways. Specific categories comprise reception, kitchen, patient care, laundry, gardens, lawn care and bird feeders, pet therapy, and massotherapy, as well as special events and fundraisers throughout the year.

Says volunteer coordinator, Susan Bednarski, “It is pretty awesome and truly amazing that so many people are helping us on a volunteer basis. And the fact that we will soon have three generations of one family with us just goes to prove that age is not important when it comes to volunteering.” If you would like to get involved, Bednarski can be reached at (450) 202- 2202.

Meanwhile, tickets are still on sale for VSPCR’s big fundraising raffle with $13,000 in prizes to be won thanks to generous donations by IGA, Club Piscine, Nicole et Cie Voyage, Jean Coutu, and Île-Perrot Toyota. For more info, call Julie-Anne Lambert also at (450) 202-2202.

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