At the Goldstream Food Bank, the usual deliveries are underway, but there’s also a special presentation taking place for one longtime volunteer.
For 35 years, Gayle Ireland has been with the Goldstream Food Bank after what was only supposed to be one fill-in shift for a friend.
“A lady I went to church with was going to Portugal and she asked me if I’d cover and I’d be the vegetable lady for 2 weeks,” recalls Ireland. “Then she came back and unfortunately broke her ankle on her driveway and couldn’t come back and I stayed and I got hooked.”
In 1998, Ireland became the president of the food bank and has since spent thousands of hours giving back to her community.
“It’s so nice to help these people that have hardly anything,” says Ireland. “Anything we can do to help them to free up expendable cash is great and to me that’s very satisfying.”
It was all of Ireland’s donated time helping countless individuals got the attention of the Rotary Club of West Shore, whose members unanimously decided to present Ireland with the Paul Harris Fellow recognition.
Named in honour of the Rotary International founder, the award is in recognition of service above self and is usually reserved for Rotary Club members.
“Thirty-five years of service is just commendable really, I mean really commendable,” says club member Jim ten Hove. “Anybody who volunteers for that kind of time and does it has got to be recognized.”
It was a small way to acknowledge one woman’s dedication to the Westshore and someone who has bettered the lives of many.