Bea Long: Elf of All Trades
November 21, 2019
Beatrice, or Bea as she’s known in her Elf role at the Children’s Foundation Adopt-A-Family Program, has volunteered with the program for about seven years. Bea first became involved with the program by wrapping gifts. Not long after, she was introduced to other roles that included matching families and donors, greeting donors at their gift drop-off, helping process gifts, and helping to oversee the donation of special items such as kids’ bikes.
Bea has continued to volunteer with Adopt-A-Family over the years as she feels it is such great program and every child should have their Christmas morning dreams come true. For many families in Guelph, it is the Adopt-A-Family Program that eases the stress for parents who are worried about their children going without at Christmas time. When looking at the social stigma associated with poverty, it is so important for children to be able to return to school in the New Year and share their own stories of the gifts they’ve received and the special Christmas memories created. It provides them with a sense of belonging and a chance to “fit in” with their classmates.
Bea loves volunteering because it’s a "very positive way to spend your time and the effort of each individual volunteer makes a huge impact as part of the bigger picture.” Although Bea acknowledges her commitment is a big one, giving 4-5 full days leading up to the holiday season, she explains that it is well worth it as she enjoys being busy and putting her skills as a former teacher to good use.
“I cannot imagine Adopt-A-Family without Bea,” says Karyn Kirkwood, Program Director. “We have such an incredible team of volunteers and Bea is one who gives so much of her time and talents, especially with being a leader at our Santa’s Workshop. She is an Elf-of-all-Trades, jumping in to help wherever help is needed. She exemplifies the spirit of Christmas – giving of yourself to make others’ lives better.”
Bea is also heavily involved with the Friends of the Guelph Public Library book sale at the end of October. This volunteer endeavour helps raise funds for the Child and Youth department of the Guelph Public Library and provides Bea with a great deal of joy as she loves to help children with their reading skills.
The Children's Foundation would like to take this opportunity to shine a bright light on Bea and recognize her generous contribution of heart and time. Just imagine the number of children that have been impacted by Bea and all the other Adopt-A-Family volunteers! A huge and heartfelt thanks goes out to Bea and the whole team of volunteer elves for making a memorable Christmas possible for so many families in need!