Betty Wilson-McGhee has been volunteering with Chalmers Community Service Centre for close to five years and is currently the registration volunteer at the West location. When new guests walk through the doors, Betty is the first person they encounter. She welcomes each and every guest, gives them the scoop on how to access food and clothing, and takes down their name and address. This might sound like an easy job, except it’s one of the hardest.
Sarah Dermer says, “frequently, guests arrive with feelings of anxiety and shame. Many of the guests do not speak English as their first language. Several bring their small children with them and sometimes guests are agitated, not knowing what to expect or how they will be treated. Betty is the one who provides a friendly and warm welcome and helps guests with empathy and openness. She knows everyone’s name, their stories, and when they need special items that they are too nervous to ask for themselves.”
Betty sets a tone of respect, dignity and kindness for everyone who comes. Without her, Chalmers West would be a very different place. In return, she finds great satisfaction in her contributions and says, “I find volunteering very humbling and rewarding.”
When she is not at Chalmers, Betty also volunteers at the Evergreen Seniors Community Centre in the dining room. In her free time, she loves lawn bowling with her husband and singing with the Silvertones and the Guelph Community Singers.
Betty, thank you for your many contributions to our community and providing a warm welcome and a listening ear to those who need it.