When it comes to volunteering, there is strong evidence that suggests that different generations can actually influence one another. Among the findings of a research study from the University of Indiana – Purdue University in Indianapolis, parents who volunteer are more likely to have children who do the same. This was particularly evident at the Cummings Centre where there were three generations of one family volunteering at the same time.
Generation to Generation
Henriette Azuelos as well as her daughter-in-law Yaffa Cohen and granddaughter Julia Azuelos all volunteer at the Cummings Centre in different areas. It was at a recent graduation ceremony of the Centre’s teenage volunteer leadership program LEDA that the three generations of the same family came together.
For Henriette, leading a monthly book club at the Cummings Centre for the last 15 years gives her an opportunity to share her love of reading with others. “The Book Club, of which I am the host, allows participants to share their opinions on their favourite books through a ‘tour de table’,” she said. “Discussing the news and films are also on the agenda.”
Being a volunteer, Henriette’s pride and joy also extends to other generations of her family who do the same. While it may seem coincidental at first, Henriette also recognizes that her involvement could be setting an example. “I am very happy that my other family members are taking on this responsibility with their involvement in the community,” she said.
Henriette’s daughter-in-law Yaffa, an accountant by profession, volunteers as chairperson of the Centre’s Budget and Finance Committee. “I have always wanted to give back to the community,” said Yaffa, who has been volunteering at the Centre for several years. “From a very young age, I encouraged my children to volunteer. Now it means a lot to me to see my daughter follow my example and volunteer as well.”
Yaffa’s daughter Julia participated in the year-long leadership program for Secondary V students. That program allowed her to volunteer her time animating the “Le Foyer” social group at the Centre. “From a very young age, my parents taught me the importance of Tzedakkah, helping those in need and giving back to the community,” said Julia.
“I thought how fitting to follow in both my mother and grandmother’s footsteps. This experience that I believed was supposed to have me help others made me learn so much more about myself and about the importance of giving back to the community in a meaningful way. I’ve had a truly inspiring and memorable experience.”
With close to 850 volunteers ranging in age from 12 to 98, the Cummings Centre is highlighting the vital role its volunteers play in being able to offer a wide range of programs and services to the 50 plus community of greater Montreal. “Our Cummings Centre volunteers are outstanding individuals making a remarkable impact,” says Lynn Gordon, Director of Volunteer Services. “They inspire us with their passion and commitment. Whether big or small, each impact matters and does make a difference.”
Nation Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week takes place April 15 to 21 at which time the Cummings Centre acknowledges its dedicated volunteers. On Tuesday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Cummings Centre will be holding its annual spring Open House for new volunteers at 5700 Westbury Ave. The event allows people to visit the Centre and learn how they can contribute their time and share their experience with others.
The Cummings Centre empowers and enhances the quality of life of adults age 50 and over by providing dynamic and innovative programs, social services, and volunteer opportunities in a vibrant, respectful, inclusive and compassionate environment. Building on its Jewish heritage, Cummings embraces people from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
For more information call Lynn Gordon at 514.734.1791 or visit cummingscentre.org.