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Congratulations Bert Elder!


Bert Elder, a former mentor and current Headstart volunteer, was selected as one of three finalists for the Outstanding Senior Volunteer Award being presented at Volunteer Ottawa's 8th Annual VOscars. Congratulations Bert! 

Bert Elder grew up near Pakenham, Ontario and that is where his lifelong volunteer career began. At the age of eighteen his volunteer career began. At the age of eighteen his first volunteer position was as a Sunday school teacher at St. Andrew’s United Church. Later, he joined the church choir. Upon moving to Ottawa in 1965, he continued teaching Sunday school.

Most of Bert’s volunteer work has involved children, youth and education. He has worked with People, Words and Change, Volunteers in Education, the University of Ottawa Medical School as a volunteer patient with first and second year medical students, Dinners Unlimited and Mentoring In School. His longest commitment, for over 30 years, has been with The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa, where he was matched for six years with a 10-year-old boy in the Mentor Program. Now in his forties, he and Bert recently enjoyed a two week tour of Peru.

For the past 25 years of retirement, Bert has been volunteering with the Headstart Nursery School, where his activities include playing with the children, reading while encouraging the child to say words or identify objects in the book, assisting with puzzles, helping the children into an afternoon nap (some children do not like to nap!) and hugging a child who needs comfort. The boundless energy of the children is infectious.

“I have volunteered for 55 years. It has been an immense blessing.”