CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – For some people, volunteering is a pastime.
For others, it’s a way of life.
Charlottetown resident Annie Boyle is one of the people in the latter group.
She has spent her entire life in the service of others.
Boyle took on her first volunteer role as a teenager and since then has volunteered in her community with groups such as the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association, the Red Hat Society and the P.E.I. Senior Citizens Federation, as well as many health-charity groups, including the Arthritis Society.
After seeing the effects of arthritis on her mother’s life and, with the understanding that better research leads to better care, Boyle sets out each year in the Society’s Arthritis Awareness Month door-to-door campaign on the Island.
As a result of her efforts, Boyle single-handedly raised $7,437 in 2017, bringing her 13-year total to $100,000 that will support the society’s mission of improving the lives of Islanders and Canadians living with arthritis.
She feels strongly about her work.
“I hate to see people suffering. It would be wonderful to find the cause (of arthritis) and the cure,” Boyle says.
One in six Islanders lives with the pain, stiffness and swelling of arthritis. And funds raised by dedicated volunteers like Boyle work to fund innovative research, advocacy and support so that the future of arthritis is one that takes less of a toll on the lives it affects, information provided by the society states.
It’s been that passion for the people and lives behind the cause that became her inspiration as Boyle looks back on her 13 years of service with organization.
“I have met a lot of interesting people who always speak to me when I’m out in public…And I always try to see how much I can collect to help people with arthritis,” she says.
Her efforts are not going unnoticed.
“Annie is a familiar face in the community, being so involved with so many groups and organizations,” says Rebecca Gariepy, community development coordinator and organizer of the door-to-door campaign.
“Having someone so extraordinarily dedicated to the betterment of her community championing our cause has meant a lot to the Arthritis Society and has helped make the research, support and programs offered on the Island possible.”
For Boyle there are other benefits.
“Volunteering with the society is a good way to get out and meet your neighbours. It gets you out and keeps you mobile and by getting involved, you also have a better understanding of arthritis.”
Just the facts
- The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for almost 70 years.
- The society is Canada’s principal health charity provides education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis.
- Since its founding in 1948, the society has been the largest nongovernment funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing over $195 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis.
- For more information about the Arthritis Society, visit www.arthritis.ca.
- Anyone interested in volunteering with the society is invited to call 1800-321-1433 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.