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Finding Something to Carry

     In a Buddhist parable a young man meets an old man on a path. The old man is bent over with age and using a cane to make his way slowly up the mountain. The young man is overcome with compassion and says, “Old man, what is the greatest burden of your old age?” The old man replies, “That I have nothing to carry.”

     Goward House, a community centre for people 50+ in Victoria BC, gives its 500 members many opportunities to find something to carry. The centre offers courses from Spanish to line dancing, seminars from downsizing to nutrition, and dozens of events per year including art shows and crafts fairs. At Goward House, you can play bridge, billiards or cribbage, sing in a choir or improve your writing. Oh, and they serve tea and lunch five days a week and full sit-down meals on special occasions. 

     One full-time staff member and a couple of part-timers are responsible for providing this full menu of services. And they do this with the help of 80 volunteers who range in age from 50 to 90. At Goward House, you can donate your services in just about any way imaginable - from answering the phone to making a salad, from teaching a course to donating your jams and jellies to the craft fair.

      On October 30, Heart Pharmacies and I joined forces to sponsor a fund-raising luncheon for Goward House. Over 70 people came to hear about The Perfect Home For a Long Life and take away a copy of the book. One of the book's key messages - live near a wonderful resource like Goward House where you can both give and receive. It took about 14 volunteers to support our event.

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