Each year, Nova Vita volunteers contribute more than 3,500 hours in various areas including: childcare, reception, life skills, donation sorting, Closet Couture Boutique, special events and on our Board of Directors. They are also the first to offer their skills (legal advice, yoga, art therapy, and much more!). We asked Dorothy, one our longest standing volunteers, to share why she volunteers at Nova Vita. 


Your name: Dorothy Grummett


Q: How long have you been volunteering at Nova Vita?

A: Approximately 30 years.


Q: What duties do you do/have done?

A: Most of my volunteer hours were spent helping in the residence. I have also helped with child care, receptionist at the front desk, community education and most recently at Closet Couture.


Q: Tell me a bit about yourself.

A:  I am 74-years-old. Married for 55 years in November and have been blessed with a son and a daughter and three beautiful grandchildren.


Q: What types of things do you like to do when you’re not volunteering at Nova Vita?

A:  I enjoy spending time with my son and family during the summer months in Brantford. In the fall, my husband and I move into our winter home in Florida for six months and during that time we visit with our daughter and granddaughter who live in Texas. Family and home are the most important things to me.


Q: What does volunteering mean to you?

A:  It means putting someone else’s needs before your own.


Q: There are a lot of places that need volunteers in our community. What brought you to the decision to choose Nova Vita (especially considering how long you have been a volunteer here!)?

A:  A friend of mine had volunteered to help wrap Christmas gifts for the children in the shelter and she asked me to help also.  While wrapping gifts I noticed that most of the shelter was staffed by volunteers and they were having a difficult time keeping up with the huge amount of work required to keep the shelter open.  I started volunteering on a regular basis doing whatever needed to be done, from washing walls to helping a Mother make a birthday cake for her child.  At that time, I was given the opportunity to attend crisis intervention training for four hours once a month.  This enabled me to help in the crisis office with telephone calls as well as to be more understanding when talking with a women living in the shelter.


Dorothy (second in from the right) pictured with Kara (Volunteer Coordinator, MPP Dave Levac, and Anne (Special Events Coordinator) at the Ontario Volunteer Services Awards Ceremony.


Q: What keeps you motivated to volunteer?

A:  The longer I volunteer, the more I realize abuse is everywhere.  If one hour of my time can help an abused woman or child to have a better life then I feel like I have done something worthwhile.


Q: What’s the most unique thing you’ve noticed since volunteering at Nova Vita?

A:  I’ve noticed that abuse is no longer a dark secret being kept behind closed doors.  The saying “abuse is everyone’s business” may not stop someone who abuses but maybe it will cause some to stop and think before acting out.


Q: What have you learned about Nova Vita in your time as a volunteer?

A:  I’ve learned that Nova Vita is staffed by some of the most caring and dedicated people in the world.  Just having the privilege of working with them has shown me that to work there, you need to have a really big heart and every staff member at Nova Vita does.

For more information about volunteering at Nova Vita, click here.