Donna White loves helping the people in her community. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Donna White loves helping the people in her community. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Lions Club ‘never about one person’

Donna White loves to lend a helping hand to those in her community of 108 Mile Ranch

Donna White loves to lend a helping hand to those in her community of 108 Mile Ranch.

She and her husband moved to the area from Mission in 2010. The plan was to retire but White got a job working with young families and running parenting programs at Axis Family Resources in 100 Mile House. She also got involved in volunteering in hopes of meeting new people in the community.

“If there was any type of organization that was in the 108, we would join it, and that’s what we did. We met some great people,” she said.

Her biggest organization right now is the 108 Mile Lions Club, where she has volunteered since 2012. She and her husband both held executive positions, and White is currently the administrator and a director. She is also a director and vice-president of the 108 Mile Ranch Community Association.

“That’s probably enough for now,” she joked.

For White, volunteering forms the backdrop to her social life. She loves giving back and meeting new people.

“You’ll find that volunteers have hobbies or likes and dislikes as you and it just works really well for making friends,” she said.

She is no stranger to volunteering, having started when her children were small, doing things like softball. One of White’s most exciting projects was when she had the only female Beaver group in Mission. The group ended after four years when some of the girls tried to go up to Cubs but were refused. At the time, the age limit for Brownies was reduced to age five, so there was no need for the Beavers anymore.

White also worked with the United Way in Abbotsford, doing promos to encourage people to give back to the community or for financial donations.

Most recently, as part of the 108 Mile Lions Club, White has been involved in providing food services for Music in the Park and a pancake breakfast during the Gold Wing Road Riders Association rally.

“They’ve given us a really good donation. We were just happy to all be together. It’s fun,” she said.

White said she always feels good finishing projects for her club. She is happy to do whatever is needed at the time, whether it’s administrative work or labour.

Before she retired, White worked for Fraser Health as a community care licensing officer. She taught programs at university, college and in early childhood education.

“I put together an emergency preparation plan for child care centres and did a workshop on different things in the program,” White said. “I really like people.”

But as her kids got older, White’s interests grew, and she started working with adults. She worked with young children, often with special needs, and provided parenting programs, whether that was teaching them how to sign or deal with different behaviours.

White said there are many reasons why people should join clubs and volunteer. It’s a great way to meet people, she said, and also a way to share talents, skills and expertise.

She’s motivated by the way it makes her feel.

“What can you do for your community? It doesn’t matter whether it’s Forest Grove, 108 Mile, 100 Mile – giving back makes you feel good.”

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The 108 Mile Lions will participate in the upcoming Bridge Lake Fair later this month, running a concession with hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks. While the club usually takes a break during the summer months, she said “our finances were depleted over the COVID time. We’ve tried to build that up again so that we can help the people that we need to,” she said.

“The one other thing I want, I will add about any service club: it’s never about one person. It’s always about the group. The group does the work. I might be the spokesperson right now, but nothing would happen without the team.”

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