At Operation Eyesight, we are so grateful for our volunteers. Today we want to say “thank you” and “happy birthday” to one of our wonderful volunteers, Sylvia Constable!
Sylvia – who just celebrated her 72nd birthday yesterday! – has been volunteering with Operation Eyesight since she retired from nursing seven years ago. She visits our head office in Calgary every week to help fold tax receipts, write thank you cards and do filing as needed.
“Operation Eyesight is a very good organization to volunteer with,” says Sylvia. “I’ve always found everyone friendly and welcoming.”
Sylvia has been a loyal supporter since Operation Eyesight’s inception 50 years ago. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Calgary when Art Jenkyns, our founder, invited Dr. Ben Gullison to speak to their group about his work in Sompeta, India. It was Sylvia’s very own church that pledged money to support Dr. Ben’s initiative, setting the wheels in motion for what would soon become Operation Eyesight.
Sylvia always knew she wanted to volunteer for Operation Eyesight once she retired. “I like the way it’s set up,” she explains. “It’s small enough that you feel you’re a vital part of what’s going on.”
With her medical background, she has a soft spot for the work Operation Eyesight does to restore people’s sight and make their lives easier. While she recognizes that her work as a registered nurse here in Canada was more structured, she says that working out in the field as a community health worker takes a special person. “I understand that they have to be flexible,” she explains. “I admire the people that do it.”
Sylvia has lived and worked in Calgary, her hometown, for most of her life. She currently lives here with her 14-year-old cat, Sadie.
Sylvia also volunteers as a Catholic pastoral care worker at the Salvation Army Agapé Hospice and as a Eucharistic minister for St. Pius X Church, taking communion to patients and parishioners when they can no longer attend mass. And as if that were not enough, she volunteers weekly for the Belvedere Parkway School reading program.
“I like meeting people and doing things that matter, and you get that with volunteering,” she says.
When she’s not volunteering, Sylvia enjoys hiking, biking and travelling. Nowadays, she goes on short-haul trips but she’s travelled extensively to places like Great Britain, Sweden and Norway in the past.
We’re honoured to have such a passionate, thoughtful woman on our team of volunteers. Thank you for all that you do, Sylvia! And happy National Volunteer Week to all of our volunteers next week!