It would take much more than the problems posed by a pandemic to put the brakes on Sandy Carmichael’s volunteer efforts.
Carmichael volunteered for a year at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #91 in Langford before she began working as a secretary in 2009 following a career in administrative work with the provincial government.
Although March 15 marked a year since Carmichael was laid off due to COVID-19, she has continued to be a fixture at the Legion because of her commitment to the organization and appreciation for the work it does in the community.
“It was absolutely disappointing to be laid off,” the 78-year-old Langford resident admitted. “But I understand it was necessary because of the pandemic.”
That disappointment hasn’t curtailed her determination to continue to volunteer frequently for a variety of chores and functions, with Remembrance Day activities and the annual Poppy Campaign at the top of her list.
“I wanted to make sure Nov. 11 was the best we could make it during COVID, and I wanted to make sure this year’s poppy campaign was a success,” she explained. “The significance of those two events is very important to me. I’m definitely looking forward to getting back to work, and will keep on volunteering to help out wherever I can in the meantime.”
Carmichael is also eager to shine a light on the many contributions the Legion makes, above and beyond the support they provide for veterans.
“A lot of people don’t realize the Legion provides bursaries and scholarships for students in the community,” she noted. “They also support youth sports and provide funding to help elementary schools. They look after seniors as well by making sure they have rides to medical appointments, and they lend medical equipment to people at the Priory. Much of the work the Legion does supports veterans and their families, but there’s a lot of contributions to the community that goes unnoticed.”
“Volunteering is a great way to give back and stay connected,” she added. “The camaraderie and friends you make are a really special part of it. The Legion is the place where I want to be.”
RCL Branch 91 president Norm Scott said the organization is grateful for the support from Carmichael and all of the volunteers who help out at the Legion.
“Sandy has worked for us and volunteered many hours in support of RCL Branch 91,” Scott said. “We appreciate her contributions and support, especially during the difficult times of COVID-19.
Nominations for the 2022 Local Hero Awards West Shore open on Feb. 25. To learn more, go to hero.goldstreamgazette.com.
READ MORE: 2021 Local Hero Awards West Shore
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